Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly declared Sunday that Saturday's 23-13 win over BYU in the regular-season home finale was the best game the Irish played in terms of physical and mental toughness.
The No. 25 Irish (8-3) split its 470 total yards evenly between 235 rushing yards and 235 passing yards.
But while Notre Dame had 47 rushing attempts compared to 28 passes, Kelly doesn't want people to confuse running more than passing for toughness.
Kelly said a team can be just as physically dominant by throwing the ball.
"You can knock people off the ball when you're throwing the football, great pass protection, and then when you do run the ball, you have a physical demeanor when you're out there," said Kelly, whose team finishes the regular season at No. 8 Stanford (9-2) on Saturday
"I think it all depends on how you're blocking on the perimeter, what's your demand from your players. I've had teams that can intimidate their opponent if you're throwing the football, and then when you obviously spread it out, you don't have to be considered a finesse team just because you spread the field. You can still attack and be physical. We're not going to throw it 60 times unless you want us to throw it 60 times, and we're going to beat you.
"I go back to you don't have to run the football to be considered a physical football team. You can be a physical football team in all areas by your demeanor and the way you approach the game."