Lunch With The Players

On Wednesday of each week, Boston College holds a luncheon for the media to mingle with some of the players. This week, Dave Shinskie, Alex Albright, Will Thompson, James McCluskey and several others were on hand and Eagle Insider was there.

Gause To Honor Howard

The college football world continues to mourn after the tragic slaying of UConn cornerback Jasper Howard on Saturday night. Boston College cornerback DeLeon Gause, who competed against Howard while playing at Miami Central High School in Florida, will pay tribute to Howard by wearing his #6 on the field Saturday at Notre Dame.

Gause and Jeff Smith will both be permitted to wear #6 as they will not be on the field at the same time.

Howard, a 20-year-old expectant father from Miami, was stabbed to death on campus hours after UConn's home victory over Louisville.

Shinskie, Eagles Ready For Road Test

Boston College's two adventures on the road have not gone well, with the offense sputtering to the tune of 217 total yards at Clemson and Virginia Tech.

David Shinskie knows that he and the rest of the offense will have to perform better if the Eagles are to come out of South Bend with their first away victory of the season.

"We have to make the plays – the line, the running game, me, everyone," he said. "Our road games so far have been miserable. Going to Notre Dame, you have to bring your A-game."

Shinskie said he has no idea why BC struggled so mightily two weeks ago in Blacksburg.

"No clue. I think we got ahead of ourselves in the week leading up to Virginia Tech after the big win [over Florida State] the week before," he said.

"We have to have better focus from right when we get off the plane."

Montel Harris, who is coming off a record-setting day against NC State in which he scored 5 touchdowns and netted 264 rushing yards, echoed his quarterback's sentiments about the need to focus.

"The biggest thing is focus. At home, we have more time to think about the game," he said, saying he hoped the Eagles could maintain their focus from the plane ride, to the bus ride, all the way into the stadium, as if they were playing at home.

Clausen, Tate, To Pose Challenge

"Notre Dame is legit," said linebacker Will Thompson on the Irish offense, echoing the sentiments of many after Notre Dame's narrow defeat to USC on Saturday.

"They've got great coaches, and a great offensive scheme. But we're a tough defense. It's going to be a great game."

"The game is going to be a tough one," added Alex Albright. "[Golden] Tate's a game breaker," he said, referring to Notre Dame's #1 wide receiver, who's caught 41 passes for 719 yards and six touchdowns in six games this year.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame's Heisman candidate quarterback, looks much better now than he did last year, when BC's defense made him look foolish en route to a 17-0 shutout victory.

"We've seen [Clausen] develop over four years, and he's turned out to be a great one," said Albright. "He's got a lot of weapons."

Clausen is currently second in the nation with a 166.36 quarterback rating, having thrown for 1804 yards and 14 touchdowns so far.

After Virginia Tech hung 48 points on the BC defense in Blacksburg, the Eagles bounced back against NC State, limiting the Wolfpack to 79 rushing yards – but they once again allowed over 300 passing yards for the third time in four games, an alarming trend as they prepare to face one of the best QBs in the country.

"After Virginia Tech it was important to regain our confidence [against NC State]," said Albright. "Our defense as a whole went back to square one. We focused on playing hard, playing good football."

Full Strength

Both fullback James McCluskey and linebacker Will Thompson are back to full strength and will be ready to play this weekend, after battling injuries all season.

Thompson, who missed two months with a stretched nerve in his neck, will finally return on Saturday, and he's excited to be back in time for the Notre Dame game.

"I don't really care how many snaps I get," he said. "Just to be in South Bend with my team is more than enough for me."

McCluskey has eased his way back into the lineup over the last two weeks after recovering from both a ruptured Achilles and a staph infection. He saw limited action against Virginia Tech and NC State, but should be fully ready to go on Saturday.

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