BC-Notre Dame preview
Once again it is time for the most meaningless important game on BC’s schedule. BC probably doesn’t need this win to become bowl eligible. The game has no impact on the division. We are unranked and while we may crack the top 25 with a win, there is nothing really at stake here but bragging rights. This is the strongest Notre Dame team we’ve faced since 2002 and a real test to see if we have put our road woes behind us.
Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.
“Notre Dame has shown great toughness and heart with all their close games.” Forgive me for rolling my eyes. I have no idea if Notre Dame has heart. They might be very tough. But playing close games is not a measurement of either. In fact, I have always felt that playing in too many close games is a sign of problems. And although I feel recruiting is overrated, playing close games against teams they should outclass like Washington and Purdue is encouraging for BC.
Three Simple Keys
1. Contain Clausen’s safety valve. I’ve been impressed by Notre Dame’s ability to keep drives alive on Clausen’s check downs. A defense will be set for the deep ball and Clausen will dump it off to a wide open RB or TE. BC needs to cover everyone.
2. First half offense. We all know our inability to move the ball in the first half of road games. Let’s set up some early throws for Shinskie and try to get a first down before the 3rd quarter.
3. Get other receivers involved. I imagine Notre Dame is going to focus on Larmond and Gunnell. We need to mix it up more...passes to the backs, passes to Jarvis, Megwa, etc. We can't be too predictable.
-- Charlie Weis is 10-10 after a loss
-- Charlie Weis is 24-21 against BCS opponents
-- BC hasn't been an underdog against Notre Dame since 2004
The current line is BC+8
I've already heard a lot of Notre Dame fans take note of Shinskie's age as if BC planned this all out or did something wrong. Yet no Notre Dame fan feels the need to apologize for Jimmy Clausen's age. Clausen is older than all of our scholarship Juniors except Chris Fox. Fox's birthday September 11, 1987. Clausen's is September 21, 1987.
The most important game of the weekend is Clemson-Miami. Since the Tigers have a tiebreaker with us, we need them to lose at least one more ACC game than we do.
I hope to see…
BC establish the run early. Part of the problems in Blacksburg and Clemson were due to our inability to run the ball. If we expect to score with the Irish we will need to control possessions, move the chains and lift the pressure off of Shinskie.
BC is in trouble if…
We cannot pressure Clausen. He is hobbled. He doesn't have the mobility of Wilson or Ponder or Skinner. There is no reason we shouldn't disrupt him or flush him out of the pocket.
This will be a tough game. The Irish have playmakers and can put up points quickly. At the same time, their defense is not very good. If the team that scored at will against NC State shows up, we can keep pace with Notre Dame. I think we will be focused, play tough on defense, and upset Notre Dame again.
Final Score: Boston College 31, Notre Dame 30