Snap Judgments from the Week 8 midday slate. For more, check out our early Snaps, late Snaps, our coverage of South Carolina-Florida, Kansas State-West Virginia, Oregon-Arizona State and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 5 Notre Dame 17, BYU 14. We will now dispense the first piece of news you interested parties who missed the game will want to hear: Tommy Rees started at quarterback for the Fighting Irish, with Andrew Hendrix in to run a few plays and no action for Everett Golson, who was recovering from a concussion. We will now dispense with the second piece of news you interested parties who missed the game will want to hear: Notre Dame allowed its first offensive touchdown since its Sept. 8 matchup with Purdue.
Rees wasn’t asked to do much, and he attempted only three passes in the entire second half. He finished 7-of-16 for 117 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Irish offense functioned mostly on the footwork of Theo Riddick, who had a career day with 143 yards on just 15 carries, and Cierre Wood, who totaled 114 yards on 18 carries. Tyler Eifert led Irish receivers with four catches for 73 yards and a score. We feel like we’ve used the phrase “supposedly vaunted defense” a lot this year, but the Cougars were allowing an average of fewer than 68 yards against the run coming into South Bend Saturday.
BYU was also operating under a sometimes backup quarterback, with Riley Nelson making his second start since Taysom Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury against Utah State. (You’ll recall Nelson, like Rees, has prior starting quarterback experience.) Nelson completed 22-of-35 attempts for 172 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, and he was sacked four times. His final interception ended BYU’s would-be comeback drive deep in Cougar territory with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. [BOX | RECAP]