The Irish lost the game last year despite out-gaining the Eagles 357-184 in total yards. The Irish lost the game by committing five turnovers including the decisive Josh Ott, 71-yard interception return for a touchdown giving the Eagles the 14-0 lead.
The Irish shot themselves in the foot in this game, and something they've been doing often this year as well.
We don't know what to predict in this game. This game is almost always one of the most bizarre games of the year, and you can usually count on the Irish playing poorly.
The Eagles don't have the offensive firepower of USC. They don't have the immovable defense that USC possesses. They are arguably the least talented team the Irish have faced thus far, but they do hold one very important key to this game—the psychological advantage.
Boston College has a solid, and balanced offense. They have a steady quarterback in Quinton Porter, an outstanding running back in Derrick Knight, and some impressive tight ends in David Kashetta and Sean Ryan. They've found a speedy receiver in Larry Lester and have other receivers that can make things happen. This offense is better than most people give credit.
Their defense is average, but they do have 11 interceptions on the year. They don't rush the quarterback well (8 total sacks), but don't allow a lot of yards (333 yards per game). They do allow almost 25 points a game, however.
The real question we have is how good is Boston College? We know how good the Irish are, after having played the most difficult schedule in the nation so far. Boston College hasn't played many good teams, and those that they have, they've lost to. This is why this game is so difficult to predict.
Throw in the Jekyl and Hyde personality the Irish seem to have, and you really don't know how this game will turn out.
For the Irish to win, they must do a few things. They must stop Derrick Knight, not only on the ground, but out of the backfield as a receiver. They have to be able to control the production of the BC tight ends. They also must extend drives and score touchdowns when they get inside the red zone. If the Irish can do these three things, they should win this game, and rather easily.
For some reason, we're not sure the Irish can do that. Derrick Knight is a very good back. He's going to get his yards and we don't feel the Irish will shut him down completely. One must remember, the Irish had the chance to get the ball back last year at the end of the game, but Knight took off for nine yards giving the Eagles the first down and taking away any chance for a fourth quarter comeback.
The last four games in this series have been brutal with the Eagles winning three out of four. The hatred between fans is at an all-time high. The Eagles hate Notre Dame, the problem as we see it, the Irish really don't have that same hatred for the Eagles. Boston College has won three of four because they wanted the game more, and played like it.
The game is at Boston College, the last place on earth Irish fans want to watch a football game. The Eagles will be fired up for the game--that is something we can always count on—we can't count on the same thing from the Irish. Will the Irish care? Do they care that this team continues to disrespect them in winning, and losing?
The smart money is on Boston College, and why they are favored. The Eagles always show up for this game—the Irish can't say the same thing. The Irish have the advantage in that they had no class this week so they've had extra time to prepare. We think the Irish offense will score some points, but the Irish still manage to keep it very close. Notre Dame 28 Boston College 24