This week in South Bend the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (6-0) will take on the Cougars of BYU (4-3) in battle of the nation's top two independent teams on NBC at 3:30 EST. Over the years, Notre Dame and BYU have met six times with the Irish winning four of those contests, the last of which was a 49-23 Notre Dame victory in 2005. Notre Dame will look to prove that their #5 ranking in 2012's first BCS rankings is no fluke and BYU will try to get back on track after losing 42-24 to #10 Oregon State last week.
The big story of this game will be which of these stingy defenses will reign supreme. BYU, led by Kyle Van Noy (7.5 sacks in 2012), gives up just 13.6 points per game while allowing the fourth fewest yards on the ground this year. Notre Dame, led by AP second team All-American (2011) Manti Te'o and a stellar defensive line, surrenders just 8.7 points per game, second to only top ranked Alabama.
It's unsure whether or not Notre Dame will have it's starting QB Everett Golson at this time, but if he can't play, junior Tommy Reese will look to guide Notre Dame to victory and perhaps overtake the starting job from Golson in what has developed into a bit of a quarterback controversy. Also, Notre Dame will have to be careful and not look past the Cougars with a game at Oklahoma next week.
The spread for this game has Notre Dame favored by 13&1/2 with the over/under at 40&1/2.