SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 23: DaVaris Daniels #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tirews toi make a catch under pressure from Robertson Daniel #4 of the Brigham Young Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium on November 23, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: November 23, 2013 7:16PM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Linebacker Danny Spond, whose career was cut short after suffering another hemiplegic migraine during fall camp, came on the field in pads during Notre Dame’s pregame senior day celebration.
A few minutes later, quarterback Tommy Rees received a large ovation when his name was announced over the public address system.
Offensive lineman Zack Martin, one of only 18 two-time captains in the school’s history, was the last of the 33 seniors recognized.
And then the Irish had a contest to play.
Notre Dame handled the emotions of senior day and handled BYU, beating the Cougars 23-13 on a snowy Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
BYU made things interesting. Notre Dame led 20-7 early in the third quarter.
The Cougars (7-4) made two field goals to get within a touchdown going to the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame (8-3) got in position to extend its lead, reaching BYU’s 22. But Cougars’ safety Craig Hill intercepted Rees in the end zone.
BYU couldn’t take advantage of the miscue and had to punt. Kyle Brindza made a 51-yard field goal, his third field goal of the game, with 6:53 to remaining.
BYU reached Notre Dame’s 6 on its next drive. But the drive stalled. Jarron Jones blocked a 22-yard field-goal attempt, and the Irish held on to win in their final home game of the season.
Notre Dame balanced the run and the pass in its opening drive of the game.
Tarean Folston had 13 yards on four carries in the Irish’s last game against Pittsburgh. He had three carries for 18 yards in the opening drive Saturday. Two of the rushes produced first downs.
Notre Dame then executed a perfect play-action pass. Rees faked a handoff to George Atkinson III and hit a wide-open DaVaris Daniels for a 61-yard touchdown.
BYU answered with its best drive of the first half. The Cougars went 71 yards in 12 plays. Taysom Hill capped the drive by completing a 7-yard pass to JD Falslev for a game-tying touchdown.
Notre Dame responded with a 75-yard scoring drive.
Rees completed a 30-yard pass to TJ Jones to BYU’s 5. The Cougars were also penalized for a face mask, moving the ball to 2.
Two plays later, Folston rushed in from 2 yards to give the Irish a 14-7 lead.
Brindza added a 26-yard field goal with 7:35 left in the second half. Notre Dame went to halftime leading 17-7.
Brindza made another 26-yard field goal in Notre Dame’s first possession of the second half. Folston set up the scoring opportunity with a 43-yard run.
BYU’s Paul Lasike had a 40-yard run in the Cougars’ first drive of the half. It set up a 31-yard field goal by Justin Sorensen, making the score 20-10.
Sorensen made a 27-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the third quarter, trimming Notre Dame’s lead to 20-13.
Notre Dame’s defense made sure the Cougars wouldn’t get any closer.