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Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Boston College

| Friday, September 15, 2017

Irish senior center Sam Mustipher prepares to snap the ball during Notre Dame's 49-16 win over Temple on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.Monica Villagomez Mendez | The Observer
Irish senior center Sam Mustipher prepares to snap the ball during Notre Dame’s 49-16 win over Temple on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

Ben Padanilam — Editor-in-Chief

Last week’s defeat ended like so many of last season’s — a nail-biting loss that saw Notre Dame blow a second half lead.

But at the same time, the narrative was a little different; the defense was stout against Georgia’s rushing attack, as the offense was the unit that floundered against a very talented Bulldogs front.

This Irish team showed something last week: that even if they aren’t quite elite yet, they aren’t last year’s team either.

The offense met its match with Georgia, but expect a rebound against a good, but not quite as elite, Boston College defensive unit. And expect the defense to continue to make the strides it proved it has made from last season.

Notre Dame needs to win the games it’s supposed to, so don’t be surprised if it sends that message loud and clear Saturday.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 41, Boston College 13

Marek Mazurek — Assistant Managing Editor

After Notre Dame’s loss to Georgia, Brian Kelly was asked how he will prevent the close defeat from snowballing like last year.

In the view of many in the media, Kelly handled the question poorly, but luckily for him, he won’t have to worry about being asked the same question after Notre Dame’s matchup with Boston College.

The Eagles have a habit of playing the Irish close, but this year bucks that trend. Notre Dame’s talent, and Boston College’s lack of it, will shine through on Saturday.

Expect the Irish to get back on track for at least this week.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 17

Elizabeth Greason — Sports Editor

Should Notre Dame have won last weekend’s heartbreaking loss to Georgia? Probably, based on its surprisingly strong defensive performance and weak showing on the offensive side of the ball.

But this weekend, the Irish will be facing a different kind of team they should beat in Boston College. The Eagles are a perennial thorn in Notre Dame’s side, in part due to the rivalry between the two teams. It will be Brian Kelly’s revamped squad’s first chance to prove it has what it takes to win in hostile territory.

The Irish are looking to prove that they can leave the loss to the Bulldogs in the rearview mirror and prevent it from snowballing, and a statement win over Boston College is just the way to do that. Unlike in last week’s back-and-forth field goal frenzy, expect Brandon Wimbush to shine Saturday.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Boston College 16

Tobias Hoonhout — Associate Sports Editor

After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Bulldogs last week, Brian Kelly and his team head into their first road game of the year against Boston College. While the Matt Ryan years are long gone, the Eagles are no pushover, and will be hungry to upset the Irish in college football’s “Holy War.”

But Notre Dame shouldn’t have a problem bouncing back against talent that nowhere near resembles that of Georgia. As long as Kelly and his staff can keep their players dialed in, the offense and Wimbush should find their feet, and coupled with a much-improved defense, the Irish simply have too much for the Eagles to handle.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 10

Daniel O’Boyle — Sports Writer

Through two games, Boston College has not looked impressive.

And luckily for Notre Dame, the Irish have never had difficulties with less talented Eagles teams before.

On a more serious note, the Eagles’ defense is not good enough for a reboot of 2015’s 19-16 encounter, but remains too strong for this to be a blowout.

The Irish may struggle to move the ball consistently against an Eagles defense that will be motivated for its biggest rivalry game of the year, but given the incompetencies of the Eagles offense in recent years and so far in 2017, they’ll get on the field regularly.

The Irish will never feel completely comfortable, but that may say more about this rivalry than Notre Dame’s quality.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 27, Boston College 5

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