SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame holds a 17-7 halftime lead over BYU in a half that saw some milestones but cost the Irish an offensive starter.
Irish center Nick Martin injured his left leg with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter and was lost for the rest of the game. Martin was replaced by Matt Hegarty.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees threw for 162 yards and a touchdown in the first half as he surpassed 7,000 passing yards for his career. The senior has thrown for 7,089 yards and 59 touchdowns.
If Rees throws a touchdown in the second half he will match Jimmy Clausen for second on the school's all-time list with 60.
Freshman running back Tarean Folston made his first career start Saturday, and he opened with a bang gaining 11 yards on his first carry. Folston finished the first half with 20 rushing yards on eight carries, and he scored on a 2-yard run with 4:43 to play in the first quarter.
Rees connected with receiver DaVaris Daniels for a 61-yard touchdown for the Irish's first score. Daniels has six catches for 107 yards.
BYU's only touchdown came between Daniels' scoring catch and Folston's scoring run as JD Falsev caught a 7-yard TD in the opening quarter.
Notre Dame pushed its way to BYU's 9-yard line midway through the second quarter, but the Irish had to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza for a 17-7 lead with 7:35 left.
The opening half ended with Notre Dame safety Austin Collinsworth making his first career interception as he picked off a Hail Mary pass by BYU quarterback Taysom Hill in the end zone.
Notre Dame has run 42 plays to BYU's 41. The Irish at times ran their offense as quickly as the Cougars, who average just less than 87 plays this season.