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BYU football: Cougars bracing for harsh weather conditions at Notre Dame

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 2:53 p.m. MDT

A tarp covers the field at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday morning in South Bend, Ind. (Jeff Call, Deseret News) A tarp covers the field at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday morning in South Bend, Ind. (Jeff Call, Deseret News)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Strange and adverse weather has seemed to follow BYU around for much of this season.

First, there was the two-hour delay due to lighting storms during the Cougars' season-opening loss at Virginia. Then, one week later in Provo, a torrential downpour postponed the kickoff of the Cougars’ win over Texas for two hours.

Last week, BYU and Idaho State slogged in the rain and snow on senior day at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

As the Cougars face Notre Dame Saturday (1:30 p.m. MST, NBC), the field at Notre Dame Stadium could be a frozen tundra.

The forecast is calling for cloudy skies, snow showers, bone-chilling 20-mile-an-hour winds and freezing temperatures.

Brrrrrrr.

Rain 02MP9754

2013 BYU Football at Virginia

BYU-16
Virginia-19

August 31, 2013

Photo Illustration by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU

 BYU PHOTO 2013
All Rights Reserved
photo@byu.edu  (801)422-7322 (Mark A. Philbrick/BYU, Mark A. Philbrick/BYU) Rain 02MP9754 2013 BYU Football at Virginia BYU-16 Virginia-19 August 31, 2013 Photo Illustration by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU BYU PHOTO 2013 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu (801)422-7322 (Mark A. Philbrick/BYU, Mark A. Philbrick/BYU)

Those wintry conditions could have an impact on the outcome of the game.

Exposure to the elements — possible frostbite and hypothermia — wasn’t the kind of exposure the Cougars were looking for when they scheduled the Fighting Irish.

But they’ll make the best of it.

“If it does snow, then there’s not much I can do about it,” said senior defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna. “We’ve just got to play our game.”

Running back Jamaal Williams doesn’t mask his antipathy for harsh weather.

BYU and Texas fans take cover from the rain as a storm passes over Provo prior to game time Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 at LaVell Edwards stadium.  (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) BYU and Texas fans take cover from the rain as a storm passes over Provo prior to game time Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 at LaVell Edwards stadium. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

“With all my might, I hate the snow; I hate the rain; I hate the cold,” he said. “I just have to play in it. It just gets me mad. It makes it better for the game because I’m really mad when it’s snowing and raining. When it’s sunny, I’ll be thanking God every day. Hopefully, it won’t rain or snow. But I’d rather take snow than rain. But if it snows, you won’t see a smile on my face the whole game.”

Outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga relished playing in the snow when he was a player.

“I love it. Love it. Give me the snow,” he said. “The snow should be to our benefit for a defensive guy. I loved playing in the elements. I was telling the players, ‘These are the games you remember. You don’t remember the sunny, warm days. You remember the games where it was snowing and hailing and windy and cold.' They’re excited about it.

"They’ve been through it all from Virginia to Texas to last week. We’ve played in some bad weather. We’re not even talking about it. We know it’s going to be cold, windy and snowy. They’ve already been prepared for those things throughout the season. It’s not a big deal to us.”

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