BC-Notre Dame preview
I would like to thank Frank Spaziani for giving us the Chase Rettig storyline this week. Instead of the usual BC-ND narrative or the Brian Kelly returning home stuff, we get a potentially big BC moment as the focus on Saturday night. I've heard people lament that if Chase struggles, this is the type of game that could ruin his confidence and in turn ruin his BC career. Nonsense. The good ones always bounce back. Matt Ryan lost the 2004 Syracuse game in his first start. He seemed to put it behind him. I've also heard people say we might be wasting the season by playing Rettig. I also say "nonsense" to that. I was very high on the potential of this team. But after three games it was clear Dave Shinskie was not going to lead us on a 10-2 season. So if we are not winning the division with Shinskie we may as well try to win it with someone else. We still have the defense good enough to win it. If anything Spaz gets his bar somewhat lowered by rolling with a Freshman. We should be able to go at least 3-1 against Duke, UVA, Syracuse and Maryland. Then we would only need to go 1-4 against NC State, Wake, FSU, Notre Dame and Clemson. That is all we need to be bowl eligible. If Rettig can't do that and Spaz can't do that, then we have bigger problems than who redshirted and who did not.
Overlooked storyline for the game: the battle for Cincinnati recruits
Cincinnati was once a Notre Dame feeder area and the Irish still get key players from southwest Ohio (like Kyle Rudolph). It became a huge recruiting territory for us once TOB and a few other Ohio born staffers came to BC. Spaz has kept up good connections there and we've brought in some great players from Cincy (like Kuechly) but Kelly has stated he plans to hit the area hard. I imagine the winner of this game will use it as a selling point when battling the other school for a kid from Cincinnati.
Three Simple Keys
1. BC's second-level blocking. Notre Dame's defensive line is not very good. Their LBs are pretty good. To successfully run the ball on them we are obviously going to need good blocking up front but also need our guys to reach the second level of defenders. If Montel is not getting touched by Teo, BC will have a big day on the ground.
2. Stop the big pass play. The biggest problem the BC defense had against VT was a few broken plays that led to big passes. Notre Dame is dangerous in that respect because Crist has a big arm and a few deep threats. To stop this, the safeties need to be smart and disciplined and the front four need to get to Crist.
3. Do not dumb down the playcalling. My fear is that Spaz/Tranq will only give Rettig a handful of plays so he doesn't make mistakes. That's not going to do him nor the team any good. I think they need to run the offense with balance and not be afraid to pass the ball. If BC is going to win, Rettig needs to pass at least 20 times.
-- Kelly is 4-12 against non-conference BCS teams.
-- BC has not lost two consecutive home games since 1998.
-- BC has not lost two in a row to Notre Dame since 1998.
The current line is BC+3
We've had fun against the Irish, but none of the games have been masterpieces. Did you know neither team has scored more than 30 points in a BC-ND game since 1999?
I am not going to use this area just to follow TOB all year, but most BC fans should pay attention to the NC State-Virginia Tech game. The Pack are for real and are our next opponent. If they win in Blacksburg, BC will be a big underdog going into next week.
I hope to see...
BC run the ball effectively. Harris has been doing most of the running on his own. I think for BC to win we need the Oline to have a big day and open up holes for Montel and the back ups. I would also like to see McCluskey get a carry or two as a change of pace. And we need to let Rettig run a bit too.
BC is in trouble if...
Mike Marscovetra sees the field. This is nothing against Marsco, but if the players split snaps or if Spaz gives Rettig a short hook, I think this game will be lost and this season could go down the tubes.
I don't feel great about this game. I liked the Rettig move and I like how we match up with Notre Dame on paper. What concerns me is all effort going into hiding who our QB will be. You are coming off a shutout. Your team is lacking confidence. What is the big secret? I want our coach to have confidence and conviction is his decisions. Right or wrong but never in doubt. But my homerism and love for BC still has me thinking that Rettig looks great and we win.
Final Score: BC 31, Notre Dame 20