Irish Wear Down Eagles

Notre Dame exploded for 24 points in a ten minute stretch of the second half to pull away from Boston College and coast to a 40-7 victory. The Irish defense did its part by smothering the Eagle running game and forcing two turnovers that Ian Book turned into touchdown passes. The win improves Notre Dame’s record to 9-2 with a trip to Stanford remaining next week followed by a yet to be determined bowl game.

The Irish started slowly as penalties and dropped passes limited them to a pair of field goals in their first three possessions. Boston College got on the board for the first and only time midway through the second quarter when Dennis Grosel hit Kobay White on a long pass to set up a Grosel touchdown run.

Ian Book’s running and passing wore down BC

Trailing 7-6, Book was able to overcome more self-inflicted wounds by Notre Dame on the ensuing series. After another penalty and a dropped third down pass, Book converted on fourth down in Eagle territory before hitting Chase Claypool for a score to retake the lead. Jonathan Doerer added another of his four field goals just before the half to extend the advantage to 16-7.

Doerer opened the second half scoring with his last field goal before the defense exerted itself over the out-manned Eagles. Khalid Kareem forced a fumble that linebacker Drew White recovered in Boston College territory, and Book cashed in with a scoring strike to Cole Kmet at the 3:44 mark of the third period.

Notre Dame quickly got the ball back, and Braden Lenzy scored just two minutes later to make it 33-7. In what has become his signature play, Lenzy took off on a reverse around left end and dodged tacklers down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown.

Freshman Kyle Hamilton set up the only points of the final stanza when he intercepted a Grosel pass and returned it to the BC 12-yard line. Book then added his third scoring pass of the day, finding Chris Finke in the back of the end zone for the 40-7 margin of victory.

Boston College started the game by playing aggressively and keeping Notre Dame off balance until the Irish adjusted to their blitzing style. Book began to find his receivers and also added 66 rushing yards to lead the team. The Eagles visibly tired in the third quarter on both sides of the ball, and did not cross midfield in the second half.

Ade Ogundeji had a strong game for the Irish

Book finished with 26 completions in 40 attempts for 260 yards, while the team ran for 252 more. Grosel was held to a nine of 20 passing performance for a mere 63 yards, 39 of which came on the deep pass to White. The Irish also held BC’s vaunted rushing duo of A.J. Dillon and David Bailey to a combined 82 yards. Grosel managed to scramble for 45 more while being chased by Kareem and Ade Ogundeji.

The only area of concern on this Senior Day celebration was the injuries that have taken a toll on the defensive line. Tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (leg) and Kareem (shoulder) had to be helped off the field, while Jayson Amendiola, Julian Okwara and Daelin Hayes are already out of action.

Let’s take a look at the answers to our pregame questions:

Will Boston College be able to run for their season average of 282 yards per game? Not even close. The Eagles were held to 128 yards on the ground and just 191 overall.

Can the Irish offense achieve balance and keep the Eagles guessing? Yes. Notre Dame earned over 500 yards, which were almost evenly split between rushing and passing.

Which defense will best be able to get a stop on third down? The Irish settled in after BC’s lone scoring drive to stuff the Eagles at every turn.

Can Notre Dame win the turnover battle against the stingy Eagles? The hosts didn’t commit a turnover and forced two costly second half giveaways by the Eagles.

Which special teams will have a positive impact on the outcome? Doerer was the star of the game for nearly three quarters by drilling four of four field goal attempts, including no-doubters from 45 and 47 yards. Chris Finke also impressed in his role as the punt return man.

Can the Irish match the emotional intensity that Addazio expects BC to bring? BC’s physical play caused some early anxiety among Irish fans, but Notre Dame took control by halftime and were not threatened thereafter.

Will cable subscribers who don’t get NBCSN have to use the mute button on Flutie? Who doesn’t love to see Flutie describe his 1984 Hail Mary pass another five or six times?

The Irish hope to assemble enough able bodied defensive linemen to defeat Stanford next Saturday and finish the season at 10-2. Looking back, the game at Georgia was winnable and no one is sure just what the hell happened in Ann Arbor, but the team can finish on a high note and hopefully win a bowl game against a quality opponent.

Tell John what you think in the comments below

32 thoughts on “Irish Wear Down Eagles

  1. Stanford’s losing season is strange but their program has been so strong with Brian Shaw that it may be able to reassert itself just because the will is there. I don’t predict a Cardinal win next Saturday. I do believe it could be a great game, and a rough one. Two exemplary programs knocking heads in a finale for the Stanford seniors. Go Irish!

  2. defensive lineman will be sorely missed next week at Stanford – this will be the bowl game for the trees and they’ll
    come out w/ hair on fire after losing to Cal.
    Book will need his A game to finish 10-2 or else Kelly is 0-5 in Palo Alto!
    Next week will tell if Irish get a decent bowl game.

    • Yes, the defensive lineman being hurt will not help the Irish with the Stanford run game. However, I expect the line depth will prevail and I expect Brian Kelly will get his 1st win in Palo alto this week!! The run game with Tony Jones will get going early and I expect Ian Book to have a big day finding Chase Claypool showing David Shaw a big time loss at home!!! Claypool gets 2 more td grabs to add to his total!!!

  3. Enjoyed watching this one. Unfortunately due to my location, I wasn’t able to listen to the alternate broadcast. The official replay guy (can’t remember his name) was so very biased today IMO. Strong effort from the D. I know the Irish racked up 250 yards rushing but i’d still like to see a RB be the leading rusher. As long as they win is all that matters to me.

  4. Nice to see 3 really good performances in a row. Back to back undefeated seasons at home is also something to be proud of. If they win next week they really belong in a NY6. Losing close to a top 4 team and another top 10ish team is considerably “better” loses then most have. Really haven’t been given credit for wins over clearly good but not great USC, Va Tech, Virginia and Navy. 3 or possibly all 4 of them will be ranked which means it’s possible we had 6 of our 12 games against ranked teams. Not a great season of course but better then most are crediting.

      • I specially said not great but better then some are saying. The fact remains that going into the last weekend of the regular season they have played 5 ranked teams. They should be a touch higher then 15 when you consider both losses on the road against top teams. If they go 11-2 and finish around 8th it’s going to be hard to say it’s a disappointing season.

    • I agree schedule looks better now. Also Notre Dame could play someone really good in a bowl game this year, a lot of good teams will not make the playoffs.

  5. Loved the 88 replica unis…… Gold pants just exemplify ND better than mustard yellow. Be nice to see them again against Stanford. ND is blue and gold not blue and mustard yellow.

  6. Although the first quarter had me a little concerned the team settled down and dominated the rest of the way. A great win and congratulations to the the seniors on being undefeated at home the last two seasons.

    I just hope the two D-line injuries are minor and don’t keep those guys out of the Stanford game. Or if they’re out for the Stanford game they’ll return for the bowl game.

  7. Aaron Koproski says:

    No reason why we shouldn’t be 10-2 and have a quality win in a Bowl game with a top 10 finish!!!!

    Get R done☘️🏈💪

  8. Good win for sure but was surprised how terrible BC looked. There is a distinct difference in talent between the 2 teams. ND has a chance to finish out 11-2 and maybe top 10 finish. But bottom line they still lost their 2 defining games on the road under Kelly once again. Schedule has not been tough this year by any means.

    • We have beaten 3 teams that are currently ranked. Navy, USC and Virginia Tech. What other team can say that. And the 2 teams we lost to keep winning big games and are in the top 10. We have a very good team and I understand our recruiting is at a very high level. Future looking good!!

  9. We could have put the Eagles away much earlier, but for the lack of any threat in the running game.
    Aside from IB’s scrambles, BC had little to fear, thus they crowded the defensive line, totally ignoring the run.
    And it worked for the first half.

    To our credit, we shut down their monster back running game, and Grosel (and their receivers) could
    in no way compensate. With the injuries on defense, I know exactly what Stanford’s strategy will be
    this coming weekend.

    Thank heavens the ‘Cardinal’ are fielding one of their weakest teams in years. Hopefully, that will be
    the difference for us, as west coast visits, when the odds are even remotely close, rarely, if ever,
    go our way. Should the game be close in the 4th quarter, get the ‘beads’ out and light a candle.

    • Stanford won’t be close. Our guys are on a mission…Playing together too well…Having fun doing it and supporting each other….Don’t want to disappoint or let the other guy down. BK will win his first in Palo Alto.

  10. No, not a great season but to finish 10-2 or maybe 11-2 not bad. Still if ND really wants to get to the mountaintop,then go get Urban, who appears to have some interest.ND name plus Urban will get us into a consistent top 5 recruiting class – now mostly 10-12 rank each year. More importantly, Urban would have team more competitive vs. elite teams. Kelly is good but never, ever will be elite. Everybody knows this,but ND won’t do it and if we go 33-6 over last 3 years -very possible – then so be it. But no way we beat the half dozen or so elite teams with BK. I know Urban carries some baggage so give him 5 years,any cash he wants and make him go to the Grotto every day for penance.Still sitting at 15 in both polls despite 3 blowouts in a row.

    • Urban does have baggage. Urban turned us down before we hired Charlie Weiss because he would not be able to recruit certain athletes. Those restrictions still apply. Plus, how do we fire a coach that has three 10 win seasons in a row. Won’t happen.

    • William Murphy says:

      No, please, not Urban ‘Liar’. Far too much baggage, and he turned us down way back when (when it really mattered). Let’s go and find the next Ara, someone who is really Notre Dame.

      • Thank God!! We don’t need a cheater coaching ND’s football team. Besides, we already have a good coach in Brian Kelly!!

    • Terry MCMANUS says:

      In 2005 Meyer was HC @ Utah, they were 12-0 and he was obviously ready for the big time. He had been an assistant coach @ ND and it was known that he had a proviso in his Utah contract that said he could get out of it and go to ND without having to pay his way out. As I remember, ND dumped Willingham and went after Meyer, maybe even figuring they could low-ball him and still get him, because it was well known that he longed to be the HC @ ND.

      However, he took a look at ND’s roster and saw the 2007 season coming, and Florida made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and so he went there and in 2007 Florida won it all, and again in 2009. Meanwhile ND had to scramble to get Charlie Weis and we all know how that turned out.

      As you said – Kelly is a good coach but not an elite coach.

      • Would you rather have an elite coach who tries to get ND to take short cuts and hire him or a coach who accepts ND’s high standards and tries to do things the right way?

        • It’s not a binary choice, Joe. It’s possible to have an elite coach who respects the rules. Ask Lou, Ara, and others. A competent Athletic Director can find them.

  11. Fulkerson’s Ghost says:

    The path forward is clear. ND will squeak out a win against Stanford then get utterly embarrassed in a bowl game.

  12. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that we will fare better in a NY6 bowl game this year.
    A decent record, only to leave a bad taste in our mouths for the off-season, with a non-competitive loss in a bowl game.
    I always hold out hope…like a sucker.

    • I think we will play a team ranked ahead of us in a NY6 bowl. Maybe Florida, Oregon or Penn State. A win would be big and a top 10 final ranking. This team can do it.