November 18, 2011

Notre Dame vs. Boston College -

Jeremy: Notre Dame
Not a whole lot to say about this one.  BC is quite a mess this year, and things don't seem to be getting a whole lot better under Coach Spaz.  Look for the running game to keep churning, and a few TDs from Floyd on Senior Day.  A bit sad I'll be missing his last game in the Stadium.  He's been an absolute joy to watch the last 4 years.  ND rolls and continues to build momentum and confidence going into the Stanford matchup.

ND 38  BC 13

Jimmy: Notre Dame
Emotions will run high in Notre Dame Stadium as the departing seniors slap the “Play Like A Champion” sign and run through the tunnel for the last time.  A heralded group when Charlie Weis inked the class in the winter of ’08, the class of 23 entered with mammoth expectations on the heels of The Season That Need Never Be Spoke Of.  It was a huge recruiting coup for Weis that promised better days in South Bend, even if the Front Butt wouldn't be on the sidelines to reap the benefits of his hard work.  The biggest compliment that can be said of this class is that they leave the program in a better place than when they arrived, with the progress arrow decidedly pointing up. 

Like all classes, there were some misses and guys that didn't pan out for various reasons (Dayne Crist, Deion Walker, Brandon Newman, Steve Filer, Joseph Fauria, John Goodman chief among the letdowns).  But there were more multi-year impact players in the group - Ethan Johnson, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Robert Blanton, Trevor Robinson, Darius Fleming, Kyle Rudolph, Braxton Cave.  Jonas Gray's comet-like final season has put the oomph back in the running game.  And then there's Mr. Rewrite of the Record Books, Michael Floyd.  

Brian Kelly has continued the recruiting momentum this class of 2008 started.  Some of the replacement pieces are already in place.  Someone will replace Floyd.  (Well, it’ll probably take 3 or 4 guys in a metaphorical Captain Planet convergence of talents: Hands!  Speed!  Body Control!  Leap!)  All in all, Saturday will make for a nice farewell game to honor their contributions.  The game should be in control early in the 2nd half, enough to get the senior walk-ons (and Mike Collins’ animated substitution updates) a moment in the sun.  There’s really not much to go over with our Catholic brethren from Chestnut Hill.  The element of shocking triumph always hovers when Boston College visits, but this edition is so vanilla bad that I’m quite confident we won’t see any flashbacks to ’93 or ’02.  In a flawed symbiotic relationship, the Eagles offense seems to be predicated on giving Luke Kuechly as many opportunities as possible to amass gaudy tackle stats.  That’s the nicest thing I can say about them.

Go Irish!  Thank you Seniors.

ND 38  BC 14

Mike: Notre Dame
I am saddened by the recent woes at Boston College this season.  It is tough to accept that BC will fall short of its lofty goal of making the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in beautiful Boise or the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl in sunny Shreveport.  In fact, given BC’s infamous history of point shaving, both on the gridiron and the hardwood, a cynical person might even suspect that the Eagles have been throwing games this year.  Of course, most point shaving schemes involve keeping the games relatively close to avoid scrutiny, so perhaps this is just good old fashioned futility on the Heights.  In any event, I would tell you that the Superfan bandwagon is lonely, but that would be redundant.

As for the game, BC has one of the most anemic passing games in college football (well, at least in the FBS), so they will rely heavily upon Andre Williams and perhaps Deuce Finch, the latter of whom was conspicuously absent in the Eagles’ upset victory over NC State.  If the Irish are stout against the run as usual, they should be able to apply some pressure to Chase Rettig and hopefully force some turnovers.  On the other side of the ball, BC has an average defense that the Irish offense should be able to wear down with a steady dose of Gray and Wood.  Notre Dame employed a solid game plan last week against Maryland and I am cautiously optimistic that Brian Kelly will again lean upon his powerful running game to set up the passing offense.  The Irish have been better on special teams in the second half of the year, although it would be heartwarming to see a punt return that results in positive yardage.

Emotions will be running high on Senior Day and, with any luck, the Irish will maintain their focus against a severely overmatched foe.  Notre Dame will let its Catholic “brothers” hang around for about a quarter before blasting the Jesuits back to the Enlightenment Era with a handful of Notre Dame Stadium sod as a lovely parting gift.  Here’s hoping for the Irish to party like it’s 1992.

Notre Dame 54 Boston College 7

Phil: Notre Dame
There was a time when I hated BC almost as much as I hated Alabama. They seemed to beat us every year, even though they sucked (you do the math). This year, the only Ws on their schedule have been Maryland, NC ST, and UMass.  Yikes. The Irish are finally hitting their stride after several weeks worth of turnovers and uninspired play. I am highly interested to see our game vs Stanford. It will be a true test of us turning the corner or being the same ol Irish. I also hope our players and coaches are not taking a similar approach and overlooking BC. I wanna put the hurt on them.

ND 42 BC 13

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