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Irish outplay Eagles throughout 31-13 win

Douglas Farmer and Eric Prister | Sunday, October 3, 2010

CHESTNUT HILL, MA. – After defeating Boston College 31-13, the biggest question about Notre Dame’s performance is which was more impressive: the offense’s fast start or the defense’s complete shutdown of the Eagles running game?

“Well we got off to a fast start,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “I thought that was key, obviously, on the road. We had three touchdowns on the first four possessions, and that gives us a lot of confidence early on. We’re just happy to get a victory at this point.”

The Irish offense struck early and often, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter alone. The outburst began when junior quarterback Dayne Crist ran seven yards for a score after less than two minutes of the game had passed. Crist threw two more touchdowns – a ywo-yarder to junior tight end Kyle Rudolph and a 20-yard score to sophomore receiver Theo Riddick – before the quarter ended.

“He’s got to be a spread quarterback or he can’t be the quarterback here,” Kelly said. “We’re running a spread offense, and there’s got to be a spread quarterback. He’s all in. He’s 100% in. He had a great week of practice, and we’re really just working on that process of developing him as a spread quarterback. He’s not there yet, but he’s developing. He’s showing signs, and I think we’re going to get better each and every week with him, but under those conditions.”

While Notre Dame proceeded to score twice more – a 37-yard field goal from senior David Ruffer in the second quarter and a two-yard run by senior running back Armando Allen in the third to provide the final score – the Irish defense eliminated any chance of a threat from Boston College.

Sophomore linebackers Manti Te’o and Carlo Calabrese each recorded 10 tackles, leading the effort which limited Eagles running back Montel Harris to 28 yards on 15 carries. Boston College managed only five total rushing yards, while tallying 11 punts and converting four of 19 third down opportunities.

“Our defense played great against the run,” Kelly said. “We really focused on taking the run away, knowing that the quarterbacks would be coming in and out of the game, we really focused on the run and we ended up only giving up five yards of rushing. So, any time you go on the road, play good rush defense, get off to a good start – we’ve got a lot of work to do – but again, those things are the things you’re looking for when you go on the road.”

Crist ended the game with 203 passing yards, completing 24 of 44 attempts, and Allen led Irish rushers with 90 yards on 19 attempts. Riddick caught nine of Crist’s passes for 69 yards.