Tim O'Malley -- PublisherThe Irish received their requisite November scare last week -- the let down performance vs. Pittsburgh we'd pointed to since mid-Summer coming to fruition.
The Panthers were able to bend Bob Diaco's defense with the threat of star runner Ray Graham augmenting a controlled passing attack, and while Boston College has an improved triggerman at the controls this week in Chase Rettig, the Eagles normally sound rushing attack is noticeably absent.
Notre Dame has hammered four opponents outside of South Bend this season, winning by 40, 17, 38, and 17 points -- two of the four vs. ranked foes. Though BC has a history of ruining perfect seasons for Notre Dame, the 2012 Eagles team lacks the talent, coaching, rush defense (Luke Kuechly was a one-man rush defense) and chip-on-the-shoulder punch that usually accompanies the matchup.
I'm normally wary of Boston College in this spot, and it's the one program with which impartiality goes out the window in my writing. With that said, Boston College will likely treat this prime time game as their Super Bowl.
And it'll be a lot like the Super Bowls of the 1980s...
Notre Dame 45, Boston College 13
Brian Dohn -- Recruiting ReporterNotre Dame had its letdown game and survived against Pittsburgh. Forget have two guys on the field with the same number, Pittsburgh missed the kick in overtime and it kept the Irish undefeated.
This is brought up because Boston College, like Pittsburgh, has seen better days. In the eyes of many Irish faithful, the image of Boston College ruining another perfect Notre Dame season is a concern.
In reality, though, Boston College is a mess and will pose no threat. This will be over by the midway point of the third quarter.
Notre Dame 38, Boston College 17
Dave Berk -- Recruiting AnalystThe Irish play more inspired football on the road in 2012 and there is no reason to think coach Brian Kelly's team won't have a big game in his hometown. Look for the Irish defense to be strong as more players have seen time pass since the flu bug hit recently, and for the Irish offense to score some points.
Notre Dame 34, Boston College 6
SeattleNDFan -- ModeratorAfter overcoming an obvious letdown game following the emotional win over Oklahoma, Notre Dame got a wake-up call that was about three inches wide of being a season-changer against Pitt. Whether the flu or two casts on Matthias Farley's hands or too many distractions at home following the big win, Notre Dame has no excuses this week at Boston College, which stacks up as a huge mismatch in favor of the Irish.
This past weekend, Boston College made the previously worst offense in the ACC, Wake Forest, look quite dynamic, So if Everett Golson continues his development path, this Eagles team, minus star linebacker Luke Kuechley, who is now with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, should be just the tonic he needs to have a breakout game. I see the Irish offense once again moving the ball on the ground with the help of timely QB runs to keep the BC defense off balance while eating up clock and finishing drives in the red zone.
On defense, the impact Louis Nix makes that allows Manti Te'o to shine was never more evident than against Pitt, when Nix was at half speed due to illness. If Nix is healthy for BC, expect another dominant performance by the defense as a whole. Eagles QB Chase Rettig has pulled a turnaround nearly as impressive as Tino Sunseri's with Pitt, but in the end, Sunseri was still Sunseri and Rettig is still Rettig. He came down to earth with four turnovers (3 INT) last week against Wake.
His big play target is Alex Amidon, averaging more than 110 receiving yards a game, but BC has no Ray Graham. With their rushing game no threat (12 net yards rushing against Wake), the Irish should be able to bracket Amidon and stuff the BC ground game. The Irish may be just peeved enough at their near miss vs. Pitt that they take it out on BC, as if ND is going to get a shut out this year at all, it will be against Boston College. If they had cruised against Pitt, this would be a trap game. But with the wake up call and narrow escape against the Panthers, expect the Irish to roll.
Notre Dame 49, Boston College 0
Morrissey79 -- ModeratorNotre Dame escaped narrowly last week against Pittsburgh. They did not play their best, they made plenty of mistakes, but at the end of the day they came through in the end and continued on their magical ride this season.
This week they travel Chestnut Hill to face a very poor Boston College team.
Quite frankly, Notre Dame should have this in hand by the end of the first half. However, Notre Dame did struggle at home against Boston College last year. Boston College can throw the ball and will test the Irish secondary. Boston College also has one of the worst rush defenses in the country, so look for big days from Riddick, Wood, and GAIII.
I expect Notre Dame to play better than last weekend, limit their mistakes, and take care of business on the road with ease.
Notre Dame 34, Boston College 10
GaviND -- ModeratorIn five games played at ND stadium, the Irish were fortunate to walk away unscathed, sporting a cumulative 99-76 score. Hit the road, however, and the Irish are a different team. Four games played. Four games won. Cumulative score of 141-29.
Fast forward to Chestnut Hill and the outcome should be obvious.
Boston College, simply put, is not a good football team. They will battle and they will fight and they will play a feisty brand of football that may well be able to slow the Irish down...but unlike Pitt -- a team that has a few threats on it's roster -- they simply won't be able to keep up.
Offensively, quarterback Chase Rettig has been the one beacon of hope for the Eagles this season as he has built a nice connection with receiver Alex Amidon. The two have combined for over 1,000 yards and six scores this season.
Defensively, the Eagles have looked lost in their first season without all-world linebacker Luke Kuechly. Ranked 111th nationally in total defense, rush defense has been their Achilles heel -- a note that undoubtedly has Cierre Wood, George Atkinson III and the immortal Theo Riddick salivating.
For a point of reference, Florida State -- the only team in the ACC that has opted to play defense this season -- beat BC 51-7 in a contest that was not as close as the score might indicate.
ND 38, BC 10
KurzND-- ModeratorAfter a close call vs. a feisty Pitt Panther team, the Irish are returning to the friendly confines of a road game? The most stunning thing about the Irish this fall is that they have yet to win at home by more than seven points, yet have won every road game (two vs. top 10 teams at the time) by no fewer than 17. That will continue this weekend with the worst BC team in a long time.
With Boston College, the program is in ruins. It is a team that will probably have a coaching vacancy at the end of this year and a team whose only wins are against Maine and Maryland. The rush game for BC is no- existent (averaging 75 yards a game) and they will have to throw the ball a lot. Chase Rettig is a good QB, but vs. an Irish front that can bring pressure with only 4 or 5 players and drop the remaining into coverage, it will be a rough day for the Eagles.
On offense, this is another game where the Irish should roll on the ground. Army and their triple option ran for 500-plus yards. There isn't much to say for the Irish on offense. I am hoping to see ND run for a lot of yards and for Golson to continue to develop and not turn the ball over. The Irish protect the ball and they win easy.
Notre Dame 38, Boston College 6
BNolan -- ModeratorThe Irish have done their best to confound my predictions the last couple of weeks, so I'll keep this one simple.
The Pitt debacle should have served as some attitude adjustment to the coaches and players. Show up. Play like the team that trounced Oklahoma, not nearly rolled over to a then 4-4 team. Protect the ball. Cool it with the stupid penalties. Play smart. Play tough. Good teams win when they are supposed to, and despite being stung in the past, this includes BC.
Notre Dame 33, Boston College 9