Notre Dame wins final home game

Published 8:24 pm Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tommy Rees (11) became only the fourth Notre Dame quarterback to throw for more than 7,000 yards in his career. (Leader photo/JAMI KUJAWA)

Tommy Rees (11) became only the fourth Notre Dame quarterback to throw for more than 7,000 yards in his career. (Leader photo/JAMI KUJAWA)

NOTRE DAME — Amidst bitterly cold temperatures and scattered snow showers, Notre Dame used a few timely strikes on offense, impressive defensive plays and exceptional special teams play to send out its 2013 senior class with a 23-13 victory over Brigham Young University Saturday.

“We played Notre Dame Football today and beat a very solid team. I’m really proud of our team and the fact we could send out our seniors in such a deserving fashion. It means a great deal to us,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said.

The Fighting Irish (8-3) got touchdowns from DaVaris Daniels (61-yard reception) and Tarean Folston (2-yard run); place kicker Kyle Brindza added three field goals, including a booming late game 51-yarder that essentially ice the win for the Irish, in the winning effort.

“I thought Kyle’s (Brindza) performance today was fantastic,” said Kelly.

“That 51-yarder, let me tell you, that’s not an easy kick to make, and in this weather? As a coach, you have some reservations about sending a guy in to try something like that; but he is a phenomenal talent and can deliver when we need him too.”

Notre Dame wasted very little time putting points on the board against the Cougars, as its fifth play from the line of scrimmage was Daniels’ 61-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Tommy Rees.

Although BYU would answer back with a nine-yard pass from Cougar quarterback Taysom Hill to JD Falslev to knot the score at 7-7; the Irish would go on to score the game’s next 13 points consecutively and not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the contest.

In his final game at Notre Dame Stadium, the much-maligned Rees went 15-of-28 for 235 yards, a touchdown and one interception. Rees became only the fourth Irish quarterback ever to throw for 7,000-plus yards in a career. Rees joins Brady Quinn (11,762), Jimmy Clausen (8,148) and Ron Powlus (7,602) in that regard.

“Tommy’s time here has been far from a pleasure cruise, but it says a lot about him that he was able to take it all in stride and still do whatever it took to help our team win ball games. As far as legacies go, it’s not my place to say what his will be. I’m just proud of him and happy that he could finish his last game here with a W,” Kelly said.

The Irish offense outgained BYU through the air 235-168, while the Cougars narrowly won the rushing battle 262-249. Notre Dame won the overall yardage war 470-415.

Irish tailback Cam McDaniel led all rushers with 123 yards while Folston acquired 84 yards and a touchdown in his first career start for Notre Dame.

Lasike and Hill each had 101 rushing for BYU.

The 26-degree temperature at the game’s onset was the coldest starting temperature since Nov. 2, 1991. It was also the first time snow fell in Notre Dame Stadium during a game since Nov. 14, 1992.

The Irish seem to excel in snowy weather at home as their lone loss in a snow-covered Notre Dame Stadium came way back during the Grover Cleveland Administration in 1895.