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BYU football: Cougars squander lead in 17-14 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 10:39 a.m. MDT

Fans file into the stadium as BYU and Notre Dame play Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in South Bend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Fans file into the stadium as BYU and Notre Dame play Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in South Bend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Despite leading for most of the first three quarters, the BYU Cougars couldn't hold on as the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish came from behind to win, 17-14, Saturday.

Notre Dame's ground game came to life in the third quarter as running back Theo Riddick broke off several big runs. Irish kicker Kyle Brindza also atoned for two earlier misses with a 24-yard field goal.

George Atkinson III's 2-yard touchdown run with 12:52 left in the game put the Irish up for good, and the Cougars (4-4) stalled on their ensuing drive. In that drive, BYU quarterback Riley Nelson threw behind a wide-open Cody Hoffman.

The Cougars punted into the end zone and Notre Dame (7-0) burned the clock, leaving BYU just 22 seconds. After a penalty and an incompletion, Nelson threw his second interception of the game with two seconds left in the contest.

BYU fans find their seats in Notre Dame Stadium as BYU and Notre Dame play Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in South Bend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) BYU fans find their seats in Notre Dame Stadium as BYU and Notre Dame play Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in South Bend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Nelson finished 23 of 36 for 177 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Riddick and Cierre Wood, who had 143 and 114 yards rushing, respectively, led the Irish.

Email: lshumway@desnews.com, Twitter: TheShums

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