Fourth-ranked Notre Dame (9-0) has lost its last two matchups against Boston College (2-7) when ranked inside the Top 5 of the AP College Football Rankings.
It was 2002 and the fourth-ranked Irish hosted the Eagles (9-4) and fell victim to a 14-7 upset thanks to 10 turnovers (eight fumbles and two interceptions).
That loss paled in comparison to the 1993 debacle. Notre Dame completed a 22-point comeback only to have the Eagles march down the field and kick a game-winning 41-yard field goal. It was Boston College’s first win over the Irish and a rivalry defining moment. Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time of the defeat.
Last week, Notre Dame survived a triple-overtime scare against an under-performing Pittsburgh Panthers team at South Bend.
When looking at the Irish’s remaining schedule after the school’s big win over Oklahoma, Boston Colloge, not Pitt, was the one school that should of scared them the most.
The annual “Holy War” has been a tough game for the Irish, no matter the caliber of team the Eagles put on the field. This season, though, has been a sad story for the two-win Eagles.
Like we saw last week, games are never decided until the men don their helmets and hash it out on the field. Notre Dame will likely be playing upset and could run the score up on the hosting Eagles during prime time on Saturday night.
It’s not something they should do; it’s something they have to do at this point.
Their BCS title hopes are riding on it.
When: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Live Stream: None Available
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: OFF, Spread: Boston College (+18.5)
Notre Dame is only scoring 26.7 points per game but it has shown it can score against good teams due to the dominance of the Irish's defense and big-play potential of Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick.
Boston College isn’t a team that’s going to put up a lot of points, or to stop anyone for that matter. The Eagles are giving up over 30 points per game and have struggled to put up points for much of the season.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
K Nick Tausch, Groin, Questionable
LB Nick Lifka, Foot, Questionable
DT Jaryd Rudolph, Upper Body, Questionable
WR Colin Larmond Jr., Suspension, Questionable
FB Jake Sinkovec, Foot, Questionable
DT Kaleb Ramsey, Leg, Questionable
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish desperately needs a convincing performance this week after last week’s scare in South Bend to un-ranked Pittsburgh. A big point-differential while visiting the Eagles would do them some good but even that would not be enough to propel them over Oregon and Kansas State.
Boston College has zero possibility for a BCS or Top 25 berth this season.
Notre Dame Player to Watch: Manti Te’o, LB
Irish senior linebacker Manti Te’o is widely considered to be in the running for the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious individual player award. As a defender, Te’o would be the first to win this award since 1997 when Charles Woodson of the Michigan Wolverines achieved the feat.
Woodson wasn’t just a defender, though. He also returned punts and played some offense for the Wolverines.
That makes Te’o’s improbable run even more incredible and even far less likely. He’s helped Notre Dame turn around a poor defense into one of the elite units in college football with a never-quit attitude and relentless effort that inspires his teammates.
Boston College Player to Watch: Chase Rettig, QB
The Eagles’ junior quarterback has helped the team to the nation’s 27th-best passing attack with 289.2 yards per game through the air. Despite Boston College’s struggles, the quarterback is having the best year of his three-year career in every statistical category.
His late-game heroics led the team to a big upset over rival Maryland two weeks ago when he tossed a last-minute 14-yard touchdown to Johnathan Coleman.
Ball security has been the biggest change in Rettig’s game. He’s given away just eight interceptions in 349 pass attempts. He had nine in less tries during his past two seasons under center.
Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Boston College 10
Notre Dame struggled last week against a physical and imposing Pittsburgh team. This week, it will have the unquestioned physical edge against a team that cannot run and is being gouged in the rushing game.
There may be the historical factor at play that makes this game interesting, but the product on the field is nothing close to what it’s been in recent years at Boston College.
Notre Dame hasn’t allowed 20 points or more during regulation against any team this season and it isn’t about to ruin its perfect season against a poor Eagles team that has won only twice this season. Their only wins came against Maryland (4-4) and Maine (3-6).
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