Notre Dame vs. Boston College: Postgame Grades from Irish's Win vs. Eagles

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IINovember 11, 2012

Notre Dame vs. Boston College: Postgame Grades from Irish's Win vs. Eagles

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    The door is now open for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

    After Alabama's loss to Texas A&M earlier Saturday, the Irish are now one of three teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision left undefeated.

    And, for another week, the Irish have won to stay undefeated.

    Although the Irish didn't score a lot of points, they controlled the Boston College Eagles throughout the game, winning 21-6.

    Scoring one touchdown in each of the first three quarters, the Irish got the job done by controlling the ball for 32:29.

    Now, all that's standing between the Irish and a possible berth in the national title game, they have to beat Wake Forest and USC. The next two weeks should be very interesting.

Everett Golson

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    Overall Game Grade: B

    Golson wasn't pulled out of the game this week, except for one play when his helmet came off.

    He seemed to show the starting job was his and Tommy Rees would continue to watch from the sidelines.

    Golson finished the game 16-for-24 for 200 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 39 yards and one touchdown.

    In the first quarter, Golson was flawless, not trying to do too much. He didn't force his passes, taking the safe throws instead. He had three completions for 52 yards on the Irish's only drive in the quarter. On third-and-goal, he took the ball in for a two-yard score.

    The second quarter wasn't as good, but Golson was still impressive. He completed seven passes for 82 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown pass to Troy Niklas.

    Golson added his third touchdown of the night when he threw a touchdown pass to John Goodman, culminating a nine-play, 65-yard drive. He was 6-for-9 for 66 yards in the quarter.

    However, Golson was stagnate in the fourth quarter. Maybe it was due to coaches calling mainly running plays as opposed to pass plays, but Golson and the Irish couldn't do anything in the final quarter.

    The quarterback didn't finish well, but it's not like Boston College was coming back.

Running Backs

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    Overall Game Grade: C+

    Grading the Irish at a C+ for the game may be harsh, but when your running backs fumble the ball twice, it's hard to give them a better grade.

    Theo Riddick had 104 yards on 18 carries, but the other Irish backs were only able to manage 41 yards.

    There wasn't too much excitement coming out of the backfield and the fumbles have to be fixed. After all, this game was against Boston College.

    In two weeks, the Irish will face USC, which has an offense that can make a team pay for turnovers.

Wide Receivers

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    Overall Game Grade: C+

    The Irish receivers were largely ineffective throughout the game.

    TJ Jones led all wideouts with three catches for 39 yards. Overall, the Irish receivers had seven catches for 79 yards with the lone touchdown going to John Goodman.

    The receivers didn't seem to be too much a part of the plan, as the passes continually went to the tight ends or running backs.

    Regardless, this group is still good and will need to come up big over the course of the next two games.

Tight Ends

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    Overall Game Grade: A-

    Tight-end play for the Irish was good again in this game.

    Tyler Eifert had six catches for 67 yards, while Troy Niklas had a seven-yard touchdown reception.

    Eifert is the go-to receiver for the Irish, presenting a big target in the middle of the field for Golson.

    Look for them to continue to go his way. Hopefully, that will help the other receivers get on track in the final two games of the season.

Offensive Line

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    Overall Game Grade: A-

    The offensive line performed well again this week, helping the Irish rush for 184 yards. Pass protection was also good, allowing Irish passers to throw for 209 yards.

    And the best thing, no sacks.

    Any offensive-line coach would be proud of those stats.

    As long as the line continues to protect, Golson will have time to pass and the running backs will have holes to run through.

Defensive Line

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    Overall Game Grade: A-

    The defensive line was stout once again.

    Allowing no touchdowns this week, the line got three sacks and a fumble recovery from Prince Shembo, which is a season-best for an individual on the team.

    Add in there that the defensive line allowed 53 yards on 23 attempts, and it's safe to say they had a good night. Helping that total is the fact that the Irish had -44 yards added to their rushing yards allowed with stops in the backfield.

    The front four are going to continually be the key for the Irish defense to have success. If they can continue to get pressure on the quarterback, the linebackers and secondary will be able to sit back in coverage with relative ease.


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    Overall Game Grade: B+

    Manti Te'o had an off game with only five tackles on the evening and one interception.

    What does that say about a player when you're saying that's all?

    While the linebacking corps had two blown assignments that allowed for plays of more than 30 yards, everywhere else they did their job.

    They helped the defensive line stuff the run and helped limit big plays. Those blown plays, however, is what drops the linebackers down to a B+.


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    Overall Game Grade: B-

    The Irish secondary played relatively well, giving up 27 completions for 247 yards.

    The majority of the damage was done on Bennett Jackson and Zeke Motta as they were the top two tacklers on the team.

    Luckily, 16 of the pass plays went for less than 10 yards, forcing Boston College to continue to try to get yards for first downs.

    The secondary has to continue to keep the ball in front of them if the Irish are going to prevent the big play.

    While Wake Forest isn't expected to do too much through the air, USC no doubt will.

    That means it's time to get to work on getting better. It doesn't matter what has been done in past games. It all comes down to the final two.

Special Teams

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    Overall Game Grade: B-

    There wasn't much to the kicking game for the Irish against the Eagles, but what little of special teams they did have to do wasn't too bad.

    Kyle Brindza made all three of his extra points and punter Ben Turk had three punts for a 36.7 average.

    The Irish gave up two field goals on special teams. But you can't really hold that against a group as Boston College's Nate Freese came up big with field goals of 36 and 45 yards.


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    Overall Game Grade: B+

    If it was all about the defensive coaching, then this group would receive an A+. When it comes to offense, the coaches have to do better about putting a team away when they're on the ropes.

    While the Irish did score one touchdown in each of the first three quarters, they didn't seem like they wanted to put the game away in the fourth quarter.

    Luckily, Boston College didn't have an offense to allow them to get back into the game.

    The offense has some things to work on and the coaches have to figure out a way to get the receivers involved more. If they don't, I'm not sure they finish the season undefeated.