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Notre Dame vs. Boston College: Strong Ground Game Key to Beating Eagles on Road

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 27:   Theo Riddick #6 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Norman, Oklahoma.  The Fighting Irish defeated the Sooners 30-13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

Ball control and winning the time of possession might not be the sexiest, most exciting brand of football, but it's incredibly effective—and there's no better way to keep an opposing team from scoring points than to keep their offense on the sidelines.

As Notre Dame beat writer Eric Hansen from the South Bend Tribune notes, there isn't a team in the country who's been doing that better than the Fighting Irish:

#Notre Dame football has rushed for more yards in its last five games combined (1,242) than 35 FBS teams have in their entire seasons.

— Eric Hansen (@hansenNDInsider) November 6, 2012

That's not a good sign for a Boston College defense that ranks 116th in the nation against the run, allowing an absurd 233 rushing yards per game to the opposition.

While we all want to see Everett Golson continue to develop as a dual-threat quarterback, he only really needs to do hand the ball off to Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. They are undoubtedly chomping at the bit to get onto the field and run all over an Eagles defense that has no chance of stopping them.

If Golson wants to get out and run, all the better. Unlike other games, it's not necessary for him to do so in this one. Riddick and Wood can carry the load.

Not only will running the ball constantly be incredibly effective and successful for the Irish, but it keeps their defense fresh; a defense that will be taking on an Eagles offense that falls into the category Hansen mentioned earlier. 

The Eagles have carried the ball 248 times for a total of 642 yards this year, a meager 2.71 yards per carry.

That's not a good sign for Boston College, which will be going up against one of the best defenses in the country (a defense led by a man that as our own NFL draft guru Matt Miller admits is damn near perfect):

Watched two Notre Dame games today, hoping to find something negative on Manti Te'o. I found nothing. He's absolutely amazing. #NFLDraft

— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 7, 2012

It's true that we've seen this before, where a 9-0 Notre Dame team with national championship aspirations takes on Boston College. That didn't end well for the Irish last time:

Notre Dame is 9-0 for 1st time since 1993 (started 10-0). The team that gave them their 1st loss that season? Boston College. #NDvsBC

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 9, 2012

Don't expect history to repeat itself on Sunday, especially if Notre Dame continues to run the ball down the throats of its opponents.

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