Nov 23, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; BYU Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) looks for a receiver in the third quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

BYU vs Notre Dame: Red Zone Failures Doom Cougars, Fall 23-13

Earlier in the week, Bean Mace and I on the Cougar Center Podcast said, “BYU should win this game.  They are the better team.  Notre Dame just came off a loss to Pitt.  There is nothing that says BYU should lose to ND this year.”  That was the thought process among Cougar fans, Vegas experts, and people around the country.  Yet, for the second time in three weeks, BYU had a lethargic performance in a historic venue.

BYU fell to Notre Dame 23 to 13.  In a game where if you weren’t a fan of one of these teams, you were bored out of your mind with how the game was played.  The only thing keeping outsiders interested was the snow.  The weather was really cold in South Bend.  One of the coldest home games in Notre Dame history.

Like many big games, BYU had numerous opportunities to win the ball game.  Starting with opportunities in the red zone.  BYU’s offense was inept in the red zone and the play calls were questionable at best.  One has to wonder, why does BYU go away from the success they were having earlier in the year?  Think of the Boise State game. The execution, and the balance BYU displayed in that game was a thing of beauty.  Then think of the Wisconsin game and today’s Notre Dame performance. It’s two different ball clubs.

BYU is a competitive team.  Always have, and always will.  But at what point does BYU play up to expectations? People felt BYU was the better team heading into this one, and it couldn’t be anything farther from the truth.  The Cougar defense was on their heels in the first half, giving up easy touchdowns through the air.  Then like the Wisconsin game, started to playing better D in the second half, but it was too little too late.

The Offensive Line which has been a sore subject this year, was not terrible today. But I still don’t understand some of the decisions with the personnel at that position.  Again, this game was lost in the red zone and through poor offensive play calling.

When Anae was hired he was brought back to grab this offense by the horns and have them off and running. Now the tempo has been a good change.  High tempo is the future of college football. But the predictability and the decisions in critical situations are costing Anae again.  These were the type of performances that saw Anae fired after the 2010 season.  His seat should be very warm after this year.  College Football is a cut throat business.  The 2013 BYU offense has simply not been good enough on a week to week basis.

BYU has one game remaining.  A season-finale in Kyle Van Noy’s hometown of Reno against the Nevada Wolfpack.  BYU should win that game and they will finish the season 8-4.  Much better record than folks were expecting after the Virginia game, but a disappointing record after the opportunity BYU saw in front of them after the month of October.  It’s just an average season, and that is becoming an alarming trend with BYU Football.


Tags: Bronco Mendenhall BYU Cougars Notre Dame Fighting Irish Robert Anae

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