Observer staff predicts Notre Dame vs. Boston College

Notre Dame faces Boston College to conclude their home schedule on Saturday as double-digit favorites. The Observer Sports Staff provides their picks for the chilly showdown.

Aidan Thomas, Sports Editor

In a weird year for Notre Dame, there’s a couple of statistical trends that have proved constant. The Irish are undefeated (5-0) when the over hits, and they’re 0-5 against the spread (but 3-2 overall) when favorites of more than a touchdown.

I feel confident that Notre Dame is going to do enough to score on BC and get over the 46-point mark currently set for this game. I also feel confident that the Eagles, with some former Irish players coming back to Notre Dame for the first time and coming off a big ranked win, will have the juice to keep this one close for a while. 

Notre Dame should be able to dominate in the trenches and make Boston College one-dimensional. This game feels like it will either be annoyingly stressful or one of those lazy, lackadaisical wins that are never a total blowout, but also never super close either. 

Notre Dame 31, Boston College 14

Maddie Ladd, Associate Sports Editor

Here we go again … Boston College is not a good team but Notre Dame has played down to their opposition consistently this year, especially at home. Boston College is last in rushing in ALL of college football, though they have some great offensive weapons in quarterback Phil Jurkovec (a former Notre Dame player) who has been injured but may play Saturday. Tight end George Takacs also transferred from Notre Dame, and wide receiver Zay Flowers is one of the best in the nation and is an NFL prospect. 

Boston College is coming off a huge road upset of then-No. 17 North Carolina State, and certainly will be up for this game as the traditional rival looking to play spoiler. However, Saturday is Senior Day for the Irish and they will be looking for a strong home finish. Will the Irish be able to control their emotions and play focused? Have they forgotten the awful performance in the second half of Navy? Can Drew Pyne revert back to his first half efficiency from last week?

Notre Dame should have top tackler JD Bertrand back on the field, and safety Brandon Joseph may return as well, which will add depth to the lineup. The Irish should be able to control with its running game and smart passing from Pyne. Notre Dame will continue its four game streak of scoring 35 points in a game, and Steve Angelli will finally make an appearance in this final home matchup. 

Notre Dame 38, Boston College 13

Nate Moller, Senior Sports Writer

The weather on Saturday will not be ideal for either offense with the high temperature hovering around the upper 20s and 20 mile per hour sustained winds likely. Although the Irish are much more talented on both sides of the football than the Eagles, the weather will serve as a leveling factor, allowing the Eagles to keep this one interesting.

To make matters worse, I expect the Eagles to have a ton of energy and excitement coming into this one because of the multiple Eagles players that used to play for the Irish. If the Irish are going to avoid an upset in this one, they need to exploit the Eagles’ poor run defense, especially with the non-ideal weather conditions for passing.

Unfortunately, I think the Irish get off to one of their classic slow starts, and they will not be able to complete a comeback late in the fourth quarter. Boston College will convert a couple of trick plays in this one to pull off their second consecutive ranked road win. 

Notre Dame 23, Boston College 27

Liam Coolican, Associate Sports Editor

Despite the rocky second half last week against Navy, Notre Dame proved they could win games in more than one way — through the air or on the ground. They’ll likely need to return to the ground game against Boston College this weekend if the frigid weather forecast holds.

The Eagles rank dead last in rushing offense, and neither former Irish signal caller Phil Jurkovec nor redshirt freshman Emmett Morehead is a particularly inspiring option under center. Meanwhile, Notre Dame hasn’t scored less than 35 points on their four-game win streak. Boston College will be fortunate if they can score double digits in this one, so the Irish offense won’t have to do too much to get the win on Senior Day.

Notre Dame 17, Boston College 3

Mannion McGinley — Assistant Managing Editor

It is going to be cold in South Bend on Saturday. The weather alone will be a second opponent for both the Irish and the Eagles in their 2:30 face-off. Not only will the temperature be below freezing but there will be 20 mile per hour winds at random points during the day. With that said, 20 mph winds contributed positively to an Irish win two weeks ago so who’s to say the running back room can’t take advantage of it again? Still though, holding onto the ball will be significantly more difficult for everyone involved, and on-target passes will be seemingly out of the question. 

For the Irish to come away with this one, they cannot underestimate the fourth backup quarterback they’ll face in as many weeks. Morehead just stepped into the role, dethroning Phil Jurkovec after the former Notre Dame QB suffered several injuries. He can throw but also makes enough rookie mistakes that there is room to take advantage of the young quarterback so long as the Irish defense is properly prepared for him.

On the other side of the ball, it will be on the Irish offense to control the scoring and the clock. Navy almost had enough time to control the game last weekend and the Irish cannot give up that opportunity again. Morehead has already figured out the two-minute drill, he proved that against NC State. Behind the run game, the Irish pull away early and Irish fans get riled up for the second half to keep Notre Dame in control. 

Notre Dame 35, Boston College 17

Emily DeFazio — Associate Sports Editor

In an anomaly of a year for the Fighting Irish, the rivalry Boston College game can go either way. Let alone the winter storm brewing, significantly limiting the offensive play to the run game, the Irish have fallen to teams they should have beaten and demolished teams people thought they never stood a chance against.

Boston College has been a game to watch from the beginning because of its potential to surprise. The Eagles are not an opponent to underestimate. The Irish should focus on running the clock on offense, and learning the backup quarterbacks rookie shortcomings to exploit them on defense. The Irish cannot play down to the Eagles. Should they go in with the mentality that brought them success against Clemson two weeks ago, the Irish should end their games in South Bend for the season with a high note.

Notre Dame 35, Boston College 21

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