Will the pass defense rebound after a subpar performance last week against Oregon State? BYU needs better coverage from its linebackers on wheel routes and better over-the-top coverage from its safeties in order to limit what Notre Dame does in its passing attack.
The pass rush also needs to be much better than it was last week. Coach Bronco Mendenhall chose to play coverage rather than employ a lot of blitz packages last week against Oregon State and was largely burned because of it.
“The problem last week was not being sharp with our assignments,” said Hadley. “We need to clean that up and trust each other more and just be more assignment sound. Notre Dame has a very good offense and we’ll be tested again, but just need to understand that if we complete each of our own assignments that we’ll limit what they can do.”
Look for BYU to be much more aggressive in rushing the quarterback this week. Due to its struggles on offense, the defense will need to make plays and force turnovers. Look for Mendenhall to try and get the Irish offense off-balance with some creative blitz packages throughout the game.
BYU certainly has its work cut out for it against a very good Notre Dame team on the road. Short of winning the turnover battle, it’s tough to prescribe a win or even a very close contest. Look for BYU’s defense to fare better than it did last week, but for the offense to struggle providing long drives, yards and points against a Notre Dame defense that hasn’t given up a touchdown in its last four games.
Score: Notre Dame 23, BYU 7
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