Brigham Young Cougars
October 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm EST
Last Meeting (2005): BYU 23-Notre Dame 49
Line: Notre Dame (-13.5)
BYU’s statistics may not tell the entire story of this year’s Cougars team. Three games of their season have been played without their most important Offensive player in Quarterback Riley Nelson. The Cougars rank 80th in the nation in points per game with 25.4 points per game. The Cougars Offense rushes for an average 173.57 yards per game. BYU also passes for an additional 223.0 yards per game. These totals are pedestrian but it is important to note that Riley Nelson did miss three games this season. His absence could be the reason for closes losses to Utah and Boise State.
Riley Nelson, QB, Senior
The BYU Senior Quarterback is the heart and soul of the Cougar team much like Denard Robinson is to Michigan. This season thus far, Nelson has passed for 1059 yards and 6 touchdowns. Nelson is also a threat to run the ball. He has ran the ball 49 times for 113 yards. As stated above, Nelson has missed three games this season. In his four games at Quarterback, Nelson averages 293 yards of total Offense per game. Despite missing so much time, Nelson still out gains Notre Dame starter Everett Golson.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Freshman
This Freshman Running Back from California has rushed for 345 yards on 65 carries with 5 touchdowns. According to his BYU profile, Williams was recruited by Boise State, Arizona State, Utah, Oregon and UCLA. Therefore, Williams certainly does not lack talent. His best game was against Hawaii when he rushed for 155 yards on 15 carries. The remaining six games, Williams has rushed for 190 yards or an average of 31.6 yards per game.
Cody Hoffman, WR, Junior
This season, Hoffman has 5 games with over 100 yards receiving. Hoffman is a physically imposing receiver. He checks in at 6’4” 215 pounds. Hoffman has 41 receptions for 534 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is the main target when the Cougars go to the air. No other player has within 250 yards receiving of him.
Taysom Hill, QB, Freshman
This Freshman Quarterback has stirred a controversy after the injury to starter Riley Nelson. Hill is the better running threat of the two Quarterbacks. So far, Hill has amassed 336 yards on the ground. This is second on the team in rushing. Through the air, he has completed 42 of 71 passes for 425 yards. Despite the fact that Nelson was announced as the starter by Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, Hill could make an appearance in this ball game if things do not go well for Nelson.
The Cougars are putting up below average numbers against the mediocre competition that they have faced. It is reasonable to believe that when this is the best Defense that the Cougars have faced this year. BYU has the potential to score points with the talent that they have on Offense but so far they have not demonstrated that they can do this consistently. Notre Dame should be expected to hold the Cougars under 10 points in this game. A shut out would not be out of the realm of possibility.