Ten Things From Notre Dame

Boston College went into South Bend with a six game winning streak over the Irish. They left with their third road loss of the season and their first to Notre Dame in seven tries. The Eagles had plenty of chances, but turned the ball over five times, handing Notre Dame the victory.

Turnovers

It's always tough to win when a team commits five turnovers. BC's last six possessions of the game went like this: fumble, interception, punt, punt, interception, interception. Harris' fumble on the goal line was an inexcusable and costly miscue. The botched handoff lies with Shinskie, generally speaking it is always the quarterback's fault for not putting the ball in the right spot for the running back. Shinskie made some poor decisions late in the game by forcing some bad throws when he should have thrown the ball away.

Freshman Mistakes

Dave Shinskie played pretty well throughout the game. He actually threw for more yards than Clausen (279 compared to 246) in this one. But his play was overshadowed by his three big interceptions. Shinskie seemed to panic under a little pressure and made errant throws into double coverage. You can understand why he was trying to press and make a play, but the offense had been able to move the ball. The key is to remember that Shinskie is just like any other true freshman and these mistakes are part of the learning curve. In time he will learn it is sometimes better to take a sack or throw the ball away than to throw the ball into traffic.

Defense Holds Ground

The defense gave up some yardage but the key number is that they held Notre Dame's vaunted offense to just 20 points, their lowest scoring output of the season. Although they were unable to force any turnovers, they kept Notre Dame from executing any deep passes and put the Eagles in a great position to win the game, which is all you can ask from them.

Rich Gunnell

The senior captain had been quiet for the last few weeks but he broke out in a big way Saturday. Gunnell led the way with 10 catches for a career high 179 yards and a touchdown. He consistently found the soft spots in Notre Dame's secondary and had some crucial grabs throughout the game.

Mike Morrissey

The former walk-on got the start and played well on a big stage. He was very active all game recording eight tackles. He also excelled in pass coverage with a pass breakup and limited tight end Kyle Rudolph to just one catch. Morrissey has developed into a consistent performer and has the quickness and agility to cover the more athletic tight ends.

Harris Held In Check

Montel gained just 28 yards on 22 carries (1.1 average) on Saturday. He has averaged just 2.1 yards per rush in three road games this season compared to 6.2 yards per carry at home this year. Without looking too much into this discrepancy, chalk up his lack of success to simply heavy game planning and preparation by ND. Harris was coming off a monster performance and the Irish did not want to let him run wild again. Harris did find the end zone once but was quiet for most of the day and his longest rush was only 14 yards.

Blown Tackling

Open field tackling was a must for BC. With their soft coverage and the catch and run ability of ND's receivers, particularly Golden Tate, the secondary had to wrap up and swarm to the ball. They did a nice job of this for much of the game although one big lapse led to the game winning score by Tate.

Quigley A Weapon

In the first half Quigley was BC's best offensive player. He had three punts downed in inside the 20-yard line (two inside the ten). This led to a safety by Jim Ramella and made it difficult for ND to run their offense.

Goal Line Defense

BC came up with yet another crucial goal line stand stuffing the Irish on 4th and one from the one-yard line. Notre Dame used the wildcat formation and tried running it right up the middle, but the ball carrier was met by Marcellus Bowman, who stopped him dead in his tracks. This was a huge play in the game. It shows how tough this defense plays, even with their back to the wall.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

BC's 6-game winning streak was a nice number to throw around but in the grand scheme of things it's rather meaningless. BC can still win the ACC and this game has zero impact on that. Lets hope the team is finally over their road woes and can take this back into conference play.

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