Staff Predictions: Boston College
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, November 22, 2019
Charlotte Edmonds — Managing Editor
This one’s weird. On the one hand, it has all the makings of a great rivalry — only two Catholic schools in the country with FBS football programs and a relatively balanced outcome (Notre Dame leads the series 14-9) — but as of late hasn’t been much of a competition. Playing each other about every other year, Notre Dame has owned this series since 2009, winning six straight meetings. While they haven’t all been blowouts, lesser Notre Dame teams than this one have been able to inflict their will on Boston College pretty handily. I hesitate to put much stock on any one — or for that matter even two — games but the Notre Dame we’ve seen against Duke and Navy demonstrated a new gear on offense. Add in the fact the Eagles are no juggernaut on the gridiron and Ian Book and co. should have their way with things on Saturday. Did they beat the same Virginia Tech team that nearly pulled one out in South Bend two week ago? Yes. But Virginia Tech’s been all over the map this year and simply wreaking havoc on Notre Dame’s opponent. I mean, c’mon, they destroyed Duke by 35. Don’t expect that Boston College win in the first game of the season to mean much this weekend.
FINAL: Notre Dame 52, BC 21
Connor Mulvena — Sports Editor
I was really surprised that the Irish beat up on Navy last weekend. I do think Malcolm Perry choked in a big spot, but that win was all ND. The Irish managed to capitalize on their superior talent, size and physicality to earn a commanding win over a ranked team. It was a great thing to see considering what has gone on this season against opponents like Virginia Tech.
I’ve always hated the BC “rivalry” narrative. Just because we’re both Catholic doesn’t mean we’re rivals. I don’t think many people expect Notre Dame to lose here. The Irish are favored by over two touchdowns, and Boston College, besides AJ Dillon, is not a great team in a conference that is the worst of the power five this year. If the Irish can build off the offensive momentum from the win over Navy, I could see Notre Dame covering and then some. If it were on the road, I’d be more concerned with the defense’s ability to handle running back AJ Dillon, but since the game is South Bend, I think they’ll manage. I like the Irish to win easily here, but not a blowout like last week.
FINAL: Notre Dame 28, BC 14
Hayden Adams — Associate Sports Editor
Where was that all season? Notre Dame finally took full advantage of its superior athletes against Navy and showed senior wide receiver Chase Claypool is an absolute nightmare of a matchup for opposing secondaries. Oh well, better late than never. Now, the Boston College Eagles come into Notre Dame Stadium in late November once again, this time with less at stake for the Irish than in 1993. The Eagles sit at 5-5 and are fighting for a bowl bid. Basically all that Boston College has going for them is junior running back AJ Dillon, a player the Irish offered in 2016 who could put up a Bryce Love-esque performance against the Irish. Aside from Clemson, they haven’t faced a defensive test like Notre Dame presents, and their defense has been gashed by the likes of Kansas (48 points allowed), Louisville (41 points) and Florida State (38 points). If the Irish can repeat most of their offensive showing against Navy, Dillon won’t be enough.
FINAL: Notre Dame 45, BC 24
Jack Concannon — Sports Writer
The run defense is back! The Irish looked excellent last weekend against Navy, defending their home field once again. The Irish will seek to make it two straight seasons undefeated at home this weekend against Boston College, and I am confident that they will do it. This Eagles team has dropped three of its last five, limping through the end of its ACC season. They have a strong run game, but the Irish front seven are starting to prove that Michigan was the exception, not the norm. I think BC moves the ball a bit better than some expect, but the Irish still take this one handily to close out the home slate.
FINAL: Notre Dame 45, BC 28
Ellen Geyer — Sports Writer
I’m starting to become suspicious that Brian Kelly and his team have been listening to the Basement Breakdown. After giving the Irish a hard time for a poor mid-season stretch, I have little to complain about following Notre Dame’s recent beatdowns of Duke and Navy. I think this team has all the pieces to continue that form into the final home game of the season. With an offense that relies so heavily on its older statesmen — Book, Claypool, Jones Jr. — the Irish will be ready to put on a show for Senior Day. Throw in the fact that Boston College is struggling to stay at .500 and I’d say Saturday’s game smells like a big win.
FINAL: Notre Dame 42, 24 BC