Notre Dame now leads the all-time series against BYU, 3-2, with the Cougars
picking up their first-ever win over the Irish in Provo.
Notre Dame loses a season opener for only the third time in the last
seasons (first since a 27-10 loss at Nebraska in 2001) and the first time in
the three-year Tyrone Willingham era. The Irish now are 97-14-5 all-time in
season openers, including a 23-6-2 mark on the road.
The Irish fall to 24-7 all-time against current members of the
Conference, losing to a present MWC school for the first time since a 20-17
overtime loss to Air Force in 1996. It also the first time Notre Dame has
to a Mountain West representative since that conference was formed in 1999.
The 20 points scored by BYU are the second-most ever for the Cougars
series, while the 17 points tallied by Notre Dame are its second-fewest in
rivalry. In both cases, the standard was a 21-14 BYU win in 1994 at Notre
The Irish fall to 40-23-2 lifetime in night games, including a
when playing at night on the road. Notre Dame now is 3-2 under the lights in
the Willingham era.
With CB Preston Jackson's fourth-quarter interception return for a
Notre Dame now has 27 returns for scores in the past five-plus seasons
(1999-present), tying for the eighth-highest mark in the country during that
span. In addition, Notre Dame has produced 81 TDs via kickoff, punt,
interception or fumble returns in the past 17-plus seasons (1986-present),
while Irish opponents have only 22 runbacks for scores during that same time
In the Willingham tenure, Notre Dame now is 8-4 in games decided by
points or less.
Notre Dame held BYU to 22 yards rushing, marking the 15th time in
Willingham era that the Irish have held an opponent to less than 100 yards
The Irish punted 11 times this evening, their highest punt total
since Oct. 2,
1982, when they also punted 11 times in a win at Michigan State.
QB Brady Quinn completed 26 of 47 passes for 265 yards and one
.553 completion percentage this evening was the second-best of his career
15 attempts). He had a .590 ratio (23-of-39) last year at Boston College.
WR Rhema McKnight caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from QB Brady
Quinn in the
third quarter. It was the longest reception of McKnight's career, topping a
38-yard catch he had on Oct. 25, 2003 at Boston College.
McKnight tied his career high with eight catches for 92 yards and
touchdown. He had eight catches on two other occasions, most recently in
year's matchup with BYU.
TE Anthony Fasano also matched his career best with four receptions
career-high 60 yards. He had four catches two other times (last at Boston
College in 2003) and his previous yardage best was 48 yards, also at BC last
FB Rashon Powers-Neal collected a career-high four receptions for 24
tonight. Coming into the game, he had only eight career catches for 54
CB Preston Jackson had a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown
fourth quarter. It was Jackson's third career pick and his first for a
In addition, it was Notre Dame's first interception return for a touchdown
since Nov. 23, 2002 when Shane Walton had a 45-yard interception runback for
TD vs. Rutgers.
K D.J. Fitzpatrick kicked a 21-yard field goal on the final play of
half, extending his streak of consecutive field goals made to nine in a row,
dating back to Nov. 8, 2003 vs. Navy.
Fitzpatrick also boomed a 56-yard punt in the second half, the
longest of his
career. His previous standard was a 50-yard punt vs. Navy last season.
With tonight's sellout at BYU, Notre Dame has now played in front of
crowds in 162 of its last 186 games, including 26 of its last 27 games (the
Stanford game was not a sellout).
With the BYU game televised nationally by ESPN, the Irish extending
streak of appearances on one of four major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS or ESPN)
137 straight games, a stretch that spans more than 11 years and includes 10
full seasons (1993-2003). The last time the Irish didn't appear on one of
four networks was more than 11 years ago (Oct. 31, 1992), when Notre Dame
downed Navy, 38-7, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. That game was
shown locally in the South Bend area on WNDU-TV.
Tonight's game captains for Notre Dame were DE Kyle Budinscak, LB
TE Billy Palmer and FB Rashon Powers-Neal. The Irish have chosen captains on
game-by-game basis throughout Tyrone Willingham's tenure at Notre Dame.
BYU won the toss and elected to defer its choice to the second half.
Dame chose to receive to begin the game, while BYU chose to defend the South