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College Football: Some Notre Dame battling Irish BYU history and hype




Last week’s trip at Notre Dame-Ohio state long ago the machine got me thinking about another once-in-a-blue-moon matchup on this season’s schedule.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the Brigham Young University Cougars on October 8 in Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium for the 2022 Shamrock Series game.

While the Shamrock Series is always exciting, this match marks Notre Dames’ maiden voyage to Nevada, the first meeting between the Irish and Cougars since 2013, and an 11–0 shot in Shamrock Series games for the Irish.

A Holy War in Sin City

Few universities are as synonymous with their religious affiliations as BYU and Notre Dame. BYU is unique even among Christian universities in that all students are required to have church approval and adhere to the university’s strict and controversial code of honor. The BYU soccer team has evolved into one of the primary visibility tools for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The religious aspects of both schools have allowed them to build fan bases that are wider than many state schools. People attach a little more of themselves to these teams. A match-up like this just hits differently.

Because I depend on me and no conference

This approach to a confrontation between two independents is especially exciting because the plate tectonics of the conferences are getting crazier by the hour. While Notre Dame has always been independent, except for that ACC schedule nonsense during the pandemic, BYU declared its independence from the Mountain West Conference in 2011 amid a surge in college investment in football facilities and rival Utah left the MWC for the PAC-12.

What is the backstory?

The Irish and Cougars have faced each other a total of eight times, with Notre Dame leading the series 6-2. Notre Dame and BYU first met in 1992. Notre Dames firepower Jerome Bettis, Reggie Brooks and Rick Mirer secured a 42-16 Irish win. The Irish overpowered the Cougars in 1993, 2003, 2012, and 2005.

The Cougars shocked Lou Holtzs’ lead with a 21-14 win against the Irish in 1994 and their second win against Notre Dame in 2004, 20-17.

The two teams last left things in 2013 with a 23-13 Irish win and solid displays from Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees and dwindling Cam McDaniel. Rees led this snowy, windy game with a 61-yard TD pass to DaVaris Daniels and McDaniel rushed for a career-high 117 yards against the Cougars. The W against BYU was the first game the Irish were not behind that season since the 2013 game against the Temple Owls.

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