Players to watch: BYU

Last year's BYU contest was a little close for comfort for Notre Dame fans. What will be in store during the Nov. 23 Senior Day tilt at Notre Dame Stadium?

To read previous entries from this series, click here.

Offense: Cody Hoffman, WR. The Biletnikoff watch lister was part of a miscommunication last year with quarterback Riley Nelson that resulted in a key misfire and eliminated upset hopes for the Cougars in a three-point loss in South Bend, Ind. Hoffman finished that contest with eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, and he finished the season with 100 grabs for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had four games with at least 10 catches, and he finished with eight 100-yard receiving games. Hoffman's decision to stay for his senior season is one more potential headache for opponents this fall, as the redshirt senior is one of the top returning receivers in the country.

Defense: Kyle Van Noy, LB. Van Noy is another Cougar who changed his team's fall fortunes for the better by deciding to return for his senior season in Provo, Utah. As a junior, he finished with 22 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks, to go with two interceptions, five break-ups, eight passes defended, one fumble recovery, six forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. He returned one of those picks for a 17-yard score in the Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State. Van Noy received at least honorable mention honors from most All-America teams last season, and like Hoffman, he returns this fall as one of the best in the nation at his position.