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BYU looking to settle score after last year’s close defeat

Joe Sampson, Theo Riddick

Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick, left, gets past BYU defensive back Joe Sampson to pick up a first down during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Notre Dame defeated BYU 17-14. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


In a season filled with high-wire acts and death-defying escapes, Notre Dame’s 17-14 victory over BYU feels like a chapter you might skim through. With Everett Golson out after a bell-ringing concussion against Stanford, the Irish leaned heavily on the running game, with Tommy Rees throwing just three times in the second half as the Irish came back from a halftime deficit to lock up a victory thanks to Theo Riddick’s clutch running and the defense pitching a second half shutout.

Among the year’s unforgettable memories, you could understand if the hard-fought victory was one that’s already started slipping away from the Irish (or at least their fans).

But that certainly isn’t the case for BYU.

With an easy victory against Idaho State hardly in the rearview mirror, the Cougars were already moving on to Notre Dame on Saturday, heading back to South Bend with the goal to spring an upset that was almost in the books last year.

“I don’t remember many games, but I remember that one,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall told the Deseret News’ Jeff Call after his team’s easy 59-13 victory over Idaho State. “So I’m looking forward to going back.”

Mendenhall isn’t the only one on BYU’s sideline that’s looking forward to a return trip to South Bend. Quarterback Taysom Hill talked about his chance at facing the Irish, after sitting out last season with a knee injury.

“I’m really excited,” Hill told the Deseret News. “Much like Wisconsin, you get a team like Notre Dame that’s known around the country for being a quality football team. It gives us an opportunity again to go on the road to showcase what we can do on a national stage.”

Wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who had eight catches and a touchdown last season against the Irish put it more candidly.

“It’s stuck with us because we easily could have won,” Hoffman said. “Seeing them in the national championship, knowing that we could have and should have beat them, it will be nice to go back this year and hopefully get revenge.”