Notre Dame looks ahead to first road game of season against BC
Daniel O'Boyle | Thursday, September 14, 2017
Ahead of their first road trip of the season, Notre Dame players discussed Boston College and how they intended to bounce back from a defeat to Georgia.
The Eagles (1-1) scraped past Northern Illinois before a 34-10 defeat to Wake Forest, but have earned a reputation for tough performances against the Irish (1-1). When the teams last met in 2015, a then-9-1 Irish team defeated a 3-7 Eagles squad 19-16. The Irish hold a 14-9 all-time record in the series, with Eagles victories over a No. 1 Irish team in 1993 and a No. 4 Irish team in 2002 among the most memorable moments in the series. Irish senior offensive lineman Sam Mustipher said he expects a good game.
“I expect for it to be an aggressive game,” Mustipher said. “They’re smart, tough guys. I’m sure they’re preparing hard for this game. We’ll just have to play tough, execute and try not to make any mistakes.”
Irish senior safety Drue Tranquill said he knew Boston College has made a habit of playing their best football against the Irish and expects more of the same.
“I think they’re a tough football team, a team that loves to play Notre Dame their absolute best and gives Notre Dame everything they can handle every time they come out,” Tranquill said. “So I expect a tough, physical football game. I expect them to come in, probably a little trickeration on offense. Probably want to establish the run game. They are going to play physically defensively.”
Although the Eagles are mostly regarded as a defensively-minded team, Tranquill noted that freshman quarterback Anthony Brown could pose a threat to the Irish due to his ability to both pass and run the ball.
“I think he provides a little bit of dual-threat,” Tranquill said. “I think he’s composed. I think he puts the ball up a little — how do I want to say this. Last week, he had the turnovers; I think his coaching staff will make adjustments and put him in better positions to make plays this week.
“… And so I expect him to come back and bounce back, poised, and play within their offense. I think their coaching staff will do a good job of establishing balance for him and allowing him to be successful.”
With the Irish playing on the road for the first time this season, Mustipher said there will be some extra adjustment for the younger players facing the Eagles.
“I think we’re progressing well,” he said. “Obviously when you go on the road you have to tell the young guys some things, tell them, ‘here’s how we do things,’ explain the schedule and where they need to be and to be there on time. While we’re here, we’re just trying to get everything we need to done.”
The Irish offensive line struggled against Georgia on Saturday, giving up three sacks and gaining less than two yards per rush. Mustipher said the unit has been improving but hasn’t been over-concentrating on the Georgia defeat.
“There’s obviously a lot of things we need to improve, things we’ve been working on all year that we’ll just continue to improve as we go on,” Mustipher said. “But going onto this week, we’re just focusing on BC, the defenses they run, their front seven guys and the looks that they give us.”
Graduate student offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey echoed Mustipher’s sentiments, and said he believed moving on quickly from poor games could help the team avoid last year’s pitfalls.
“Well, I think that’s where we screwed up last year in the fact that we tried to do too much. I think that. I talked with Coach Hiestand about it all the time,” McGlinchey said. “When you mess up a play or when you mess up a game as a team, you wind up on the losing side of things; it’s normally just a couple small things here and there that you’ve got to alter. Where we’re going to be a lot different is we’re not going to go into panic mode.
“We’re not going to go into anything that’s too drastic because we know we are a good football team. We’ve got a lot of talented players and a lot of great leaders, and we’re going to just be as consistent as we can, as possible, to get our jobs done and to eliminate the mistakes that were made.”