Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was determined not to get too emotional when he lined up against BYU Saturday.
Te'o, who is a member of the LDS Church, was recruited by the Cougars but chose to play for the Fighting Irish. He is very familiar with many of BYU's players and coaches.
"I was rather calm. I’m very happy and proud of myself — kind of hard," said Te'o, who recorded 10 tackles and an interception in No. 5 Notre Dame's 17-14 victory.
The Cougars threw a scare into the Irish, who rallied from a 14-7 halftime deficit.
"That's a team that won 10 games last year," said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. "That's a bracket-buster team in basketball parlance. That's a darn good football team. Our kids hung in there and won the football game."
"They are a really good football team and we understood that coming in and it was going to be a fight," Te'o said. "Hats off to them for a great college football game."
Kelly is glad to have his senior linebacker anchoring his defense.
"The guy is all over the field, pass coverage, breaking on the ball, setting our defense off. It's not going to change," Kelly said. "It's only going to continue to be the same kind of performance week-in and week-out, because he's so well-prepared. Just glad he's on our team."
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