Jones saves best for last to lead Irish over Brigham Young
Published 9:31 pm Monday, November 17, 2003
By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Senior tailback Julius Jones saved his best performance for his final home game at Notre Dame Stadium.
Jones, who missed all of last season, rushed for 161 yards on 35 carries and three touchdowns as Notre Dame defeated visiting Brigham Young University, 33-14.
The victory improved Notre Dame's record to 4-6 on the season and with two more victories the Fighting Irish will become bowl eligible.
Notre Dame still has games at Stanford and Syracuse remaining on its schedule.
BYU coach Gary Crowton agreed.
Notre Dame took an early 3-0 lead on the Cougars thanks to a 27-yard field goal by D.J. Fitspatrick.
BYU (3-7) responded with its only scoring drive of the first half.
The Cougars made it a 7-3 contest when Rey Brathwaite scored on an 18-yard run on which he bounced off several Notre Dame players before reaching the end zone.
It was all Notre Dame from there, although the Irish didn't really put the game away until the second half.
Fitzpatrick connected on a 31-yard field goal to cut the BYU lead to 7-6 late in the first quarter and then gave the Fighting Irish a 9-7 lead with his third field goal of the half, this one from 34-yards out with 3:38 remaining in the second quarter.
The Fighting Irish sent a message to the Brigham Young side line in the closing seconds as it went seven plays and 52 yards in 1:36 to make it a 16-7 contest as Jones socred from a yard away.
Notre Dame wasn't about to have a second half letdown according to Willingham, who stressed that the Cougars have an explosive offense.
The Irish listened well to their second-year coach as they scored 17 second half points to turn the game into a rout.
Jones scored on a 23-yard run to open the second half scoring for the Irish. His run capped off a 44-yard, seven-play drive.
Fitzpatrick connected on his fourth field goal of the day, this one from 38-yards to make it 26-7.
BYU got one last touchdown in before the Irish capped the scoring.
The Cougars scored on a one-yard run by quarterback Matt Berry. The drive covered 39 yards on three plays.
Jones then sent the Notre Dame fans home with a smile on their faces with a 13-yard run to make it 33-14.
Notre Dame finished with 360 yards in total offense, including 204 yards rushing. Brady Quinn was 15-of-30 for 156 yards and an interception.
The Cougars managed 303 yards in total offense, including 250 passing as Berry was 17-of-29 for 231 yards and three interceptions.