BGI Staff Predictions: Boston College At Notre Dame
No. 15 Notre Dame (8-2) will attempt to finish a second consecutive unbeaten season at home — a first since 1988-89 — when it hosts Boston College (5-5) on Senior Day on Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (NBC).
Head coach Brian Kelly is 5-0 all time against the Eagles, and the Fighting Irish have a six-game winning streak in the series, dating back to 2008.
TODD BURLAGE, STAFF WRITER
Notre Dame 42, Boston College 17
The Eagles offense — and really the entire team — begins and ends with 250-pound junior running back AJ Dillon. Through 10 games, this long-shot preseason Heisman Trophy candidate has 1,451 rushing yards this season (third in the nation) with 13 touchdowns.
For his career, Dillon — the grandson of former Notre Dame star wide receiver Thom Gatewood — has more than 4,000 rushing and 37 touchdowns. Control Dillon and you beat BC running away, no pun intended.
After starting 3-1 the Eagles have lost four of their six games and need a win Saturday over Notre Dame or next weekend at Pittsburgh to become bowl eligible for the sixth time in the last seven years.
VINCE DEDARIO, FOOTBALL ANALYST
Notre Dame 42 BC 14
When you look at Boston College and their defensive numbers that includes a No. 128 ranking among 130 teams while allowing 486.9 yards per game, you automatically think Notre Dame is going to have a field day on Saturday. If the Irish play the way they did against Navy, you are absolutely right.
The Boston College defense has missed 135 tackles on the season.. The Eagles' secondary is a big play waiting to happen — for the other team —and with the newfound relationship between Braden Lenzy and Ian Book, watch out for some fireworks. Chase Claypool will dominate and Cole Kmet will be back in a big way.
This game should not be close and will hopefully leave a lasting impression on New Year's Six committee members.
ANDREW MENTOCK, STAFF WRITER
Notre Dame 45, Boston College 24
The Fighting Irish get off to another hot start thanks to quarterback Ian Book once again connecting on the deep ball. Boston College is one of six teams in the FBS that allow more than 300 yards passing per contest.
The Notre Dame defense also does good job of swarming Boston College running back AJ Dillon, which limits the number of tackles he breaks and his overall production. This game gets out of hand by the end of the third quarter, and Irish backups finish off the game. That could result in the Eagles putting up some garbage points or yardage the way Navy did last weekend.
MIKE SINGER, RECRUITING INSIDER
Notre Dame 48, Boston College 24
The Eagles have proven this season that they can score, producing a respectable 33.8 average (33rd in the country). They defeated a solid Virginia Tech team (that had the Irish on the ropes) in the opener, 35-28, and only Clemson really shut them down. Their rushing attack ranks No. 5 in yards per game nationally (282.2 yards per game).
What Boston College has also proven this season is that it is awful defensively, and the Irish offense should be able to feast on the ground and with the deep ball. Look for a big game from running back Tony Jones Jr., who hasn’t eclipsed 30 rushing yards since the USC game, when he ran for 176 yards.
LOU SOMOGYI, SENIOR EDITOR
Notre Dame 38, Boston College 20
Similar to Pitt, another past regular and eastern school on the Notre Dame schedule, Boston College has an annoying proclivity to play at optimum level versus the Fighting Irish, especially in the month of November.
Notre Dame victories this decade in November versus BC by such scores as 16-14, 21-6 and 19-16 reflect the toughness and peskiness of the Eagles, who take on the personality of head coach Steve Addazio.
What is different about this Boston College team, though, is it has displayed no evidence of a defense that can keep them in the game. As long as Notre Dame doesn't have a turnover-prone game — like the five in 2015 (three inside the Eagles' five-yard line) in the 19-16 win versus a 3-9 team — it should continue to light up the scoreboard the way it has the past two weeks against units that were stronger on paper than BC.