BC-Notre Dame preview
Some Notre Dame fans point to different games against BC and say, "I knew Coach ____ would never win at Notre Dame when we lost to BC in 200_". Davie, Willingham and Weis all had bad losses to BC that helped fasttrack their respective exits. You would think that given the emotion on the BC side of the rivalry our fanbase would react the same way. It won't. I think Spaz is safe for another season regardless of how this game plays out. In my opinion the only thing a blowout will do is show the casual BC fans how far things have fallen.
Overlooked storyline for the game: BC's slow demand for tickets
A few weeks back season ticket holders were given a chance to get extra Notre Dame tickets. That should have been a wake up call to BC. We once had waiting lists and lotteries for Notre Dame tickets. Now even many current seniors are skipping the trip. Gene might think Spaz is not to blame for our current woes, but I hope he realizes that Spaz, as the leader and face of the program, is blunting enthusiasm. Even without a coaching change, that needs to be addressed in the offseason.
Three Simple Keys
1. Turnovers. Turnovers are cliche and hard to actually "force" but I do think this game will be decided by how many BC gets. Notre Dame is pretty good on offense but will also shoot themselves in the foot. BC needs to be ready and look to pick off Rees often.
2. Sticking with the run. This is opposite of what I've been preaching lately, but I actually think we can run on Notre Dame. I also think that controlling the clock may allow us to steal the game.
3. Contain Atkinson. Atkinson is their return man and a true freshman. BC's been decent in special team's coverage. We cannot let Atkinson change the game with one big play.
-- Spaz is 0-2 against the Irish
-- No BC coach has ever lost three straight to Notre Dame
-- Kelly has a perfect November record as coach of the Irish
The current line is BC+24.5
BC has only played Notre Dame this late in the season (after November 15) twice. BC beat Notre Dame in South Bend on November 20 in 1999 and on November 20 in 1993.
I am not really watching scoreboards at this point. But I will be paying some attention to UCLA-Colorado and Kansas-Texas A&M. Both matchups involve coaches on hot seats and/or having terrible seasons. I pay attention to this stuff as a benchmark for how much losing other programs will tolerate. BC has to do its own thing, but it is important to look at how other schools decided that the timing is right to make a change.
I hope to see...
A real showcase game for Luke Kuechly. Our record is going to keep Luke from winning some postseason awards. That unfortunately is out of his control. But if he has a big game this week on national TV and follows it with another big effort next week, he might earn some of the accolades he's up for.
BC is in trouble if…
Notre Dame can run the ball. Their offense is good to begin with and pass happy. If they also run at will, we will have a hard time keeping up with them.
I have a little optimism. Strange things happen when we play Notre Dame as a major underdog. I also could see us picking off Rees and running a pick 6 back to change the game. But for all my Notre Dame optimism, I still don't trust Spaz to play to win. Instead I see this game as a blowout where we pad our score late in the game.
Final Score: Notre Dame 42, BC 21