Boston College At Notre Dame Fighting Irish
By: Dave Consolazio
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will host the Boston College Eagles this Saturday in their final home game of the season at South Bend.
Notre Dame is currently a 24½-point favorite over the Eagles on the Don Best odds screen, up a half-point from the opener. Saturday’s game is set to start at 4:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised nationally on NBC.
While the Fighting Irish just barely cracked the AP Top 25 at No. 24 this week and failed to crack the BCS Top 25, the Don Best Linemakers Poll gave them their share of respect at No. 13 (tied with Virginia Tech in that spot). Boston College is unranked.
Notre Dame (7-3) has strung together three straight wins (2-1 ATS) after suffering its last loss against USC. Last week against Maryland, the offense had a big day with Tommy Rees passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns and Jonas Gray rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the 45-21 win.
One of the keys to Notre Dame’s 508-yard day against Maryland was an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. Brian Kelly’s offense has clearly started to take form as the season has gone on; the Irish averaged 24.3 points per game through their first four games and have averaged 39.8 points per game over their last six.
Boston College (3-7) picked up its second win in the last three games this past Saturday, narrowly holding on to a 14-10 win at home against North Carolina State as a 1½-point favorite.
The Eagles have been completely anemic on offense all season long. They rank 113th in the country in scoring offense with just 18 points per game, and if you take away the 45-17 win over FCS opponent Massachusetts, that number falls to 15 points per game. For Boston College to put up a fight this week, the Eagles will need to find a way to run the ball on Notre Dame’s suspect rushing defense.
In last year’s matchup against Notre Dame, Boston College managed only five rushing yards and lost 31-13. The Eagles are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against Notre Dame, but Notre Dame appears to be turning the tables on the rivalry as they’ve won in each of the last two meetings between these two teams and are a decisive favorite this week.
Still, the Irish shouldn’t sleep on this game or get caught looking ahead to Stanford next week; Boston College is 3-1 SU and ATS in their last four games against Notre Dame in South Bend.
Each of the last four games between Notre Dame and Boston College have gone ‘under’ the total, with this week's number starting at 47 points. Due to Boston College’s dreadful offense and solid defense, the Eagles have gone ‘under’ the total in all nine of their games against FBS opponents this season.
Weather could play a role in this one with a 30 percent chance of showers in the forecast. Afternoon temps are expected to just creep into the 50s.