The BC Players Talk About Notre Dame

At the weekly player luncheon, Diana Nearos was there with the rest of the media. Unlike most, she is also a student at Boston College and will be making the trip to South Bend as a student to support the team. She talked to the players about this game from the perspective of a student at Boston College

Today marks the beginning of the weekend exodus of Superfans from Chestnut Hill to South Bend. The latest battle of "The Holy Wars" takes place this Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Students, players, and coaches are all looking forward to the trip for different reasons.

Boston College has yet to win a game on the road, despite their position at the top of the Atlantic Division of the ACC. The team is looking to change that this weekend in South Bend.

"That's all mental," said defensive end Jim Ramella. "We have to learn to get out of our comfort zone at home. We've proved that we are a good football team, but you can't just be a good football team at home to win a championship."

Taking the skills, confidence, and success on the road has been a problem for the Eagles, who are 0-2 outside of Chestnut Hill. They fell to Clemson 25-7 and to Virginia Tech 48-14. In both games, BC struggled to get started offensively, only registering one first down in the first half of either game; and that one came on a defensive penalty.

"We just have to get first downs," said wide receiver Colin Larmond Jr. "Once we get our first one, everyone calms down. If you go three-and-out at the start it's kind of rough because everyone gets the jitters and the defense is going out quickly."

One of, if not, the most important things to help BC on the road is focus. With only two road games halfway into the season, the Eagles, especially the young ones, have not been given the opportunity to develop a routine and learn to maintain focus on the game ahead.

"I think what we need to do is focus and get in our mindset right when we get off the plane and almost pretend that we're playing at home, going to that hotel at home, and getting onto the bus and going to a home game," said quarterback Dave Shinskie.

The scenery may make it a bit harder for BC to focus, especially for the players that have not been to Notre Dame to see "Touchdown Jesus," the golden dome, and Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish have a storied tradition which, though may not have been realized lately, maintains a hold on fans and athletes alike.

"I'm sure they've already seen that on Rudy," said Ramella. "You can't let those distractions get to you before the game. We are going to play a football game at a very storied program, storied place but that can't be your train of thought – hey I'm going to play at Notre Dame. No, you're going to play an away game at a tough environment and you're going to get it done."

The classic football movie, segments of which were actually filmed during halftime of Notre Dame's 54-7 rout of the Eagles in 1992, has shown the wonderful world of Notre Dame football to many a sports fan, but holds little value in many BC fans' eyes. One, two, or twenty Superfans may carry signs or incite chants of "Rudy was off-sides," or similar comments.

"I haven't seen Rudy since I was a kid. I ain't watching that again," scoffed safety Wes Davis.

The rivalry between the two premier Catholic universities in the nation stems from more than just a cheesy movie which sparks memories of a painful loss. The two institution battle on the gridiron, the rink, the hard court, for regard of prospective students, and the US News and World Report College Rankings. Some Domers believe their school to be far superior; they latch on to the memories of victories past and the few spots that separate the two schools in the rankings.

"I think it is definitely still in our mind a rivalry because it will always be a chip on our shoulder, seeing as people who go to Notre Dame think BC is their little brother school. I'm definitely going to take the mentality that they think we are lesser is just fuel to play hard," said defensive end Alex Albright.

So far, that fuel has proved pretty powerful for the Eagles. BC has won the last six meeting between the two teams, including three at the impressive Notre Dame Stadium.

"I just know that I haven't lost to them, and I'm not planning on [the win streak] ending on my watch," said Ramella. "I'm sure they're hoping they can get back at us this year, but it's not happening."

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