Boston College - Notre Dame Matchup

Boston College is coming off of an overtime loss to Pitt where they threw for a season high 367 yards passing but only gained 56 yards on the ground. Notre Dame rolled over Navy once again to bounce back from a 25 point loss to Purdue. Which teams will show up on 10/23? The Notre Dame team that only rushed for 11 yards in losing to BYU, or the team that beat then top 10 Michigan? The Boston College team had a balanced attack in beating Penn State, or the team that has put up over 550 yards per game in its last 3 games but only has a win over a 1AA UMass to show for it?

The Quarterbacks
Paul Peterson -- 59.6% comp,118 of 198 for 1,402 yards
237 YPG, 10 TD, 6 INT ---24th in total offense nationally
Brady Quinn -- 52.6% comp, 112 of 213 for 1,659 yard
237 YPG, 9 TD, 5 INT ---31th in total offense nationally

Top Rushers
Andre Callender -- 291 yards, 4.2 ypc, 1 TD
  A.J. Brooks -- 326 yards, 5.7 ypc, 3 TD
  L.V. Whitworth -- 240 yards, 4.4 ypc, 1 TD
Darius Walker -- 462 yards, 3.6 ypc, 3 TD
  Ryan Grant -- 256 yards, 4.7 ypc, 5 TD

Top Receivers
Grant Adams (WR) -- 27 catches, 406 yards, 2 TD
  Mark Palmer (FB) -- 18 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD
  Joel Hazard (WR) -- 17 catches, 175 yards, 3 TD
  Larry Lester (WR) -- 8 catches, 138 yards, 1 TD
Rhema McKnight (WR) -- 26 catches, 388 yards, 2 TD
  Anthony Fasano (TE) -- 15 catches, 256 yards, 2 TD
  Matt Shelton (WR) -- 13 catches, 344 yards, 4 TD

Top Defenders
Mathias Kiwanuka (DE) -- 34 tackles (9 for losses), 4 sacks, 1 INT
  Ricky Brown (LB) -- 35 tackles, 1 for a loss
  Ray Henderson (MLB) -- 29 tackles, 2 INT
  Will Blackmon (CB) -- 26 tackles, 2 INT
  T.J. Stancil (FS) -- 25 tackles, 1 INT
Mike Goolsby (LB) -- 63 tackles (3.5 for loss), 1 sack
  Brandon Hoyte (LB) -- 45 tackles, (5 for loss) 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
  Quentin Burrell (FS) -- 42 tackles
  Derek Curry (LB) -- 39 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries
  Dwight Ellick (CB) -- 30 tackles, 2 INT, 2 forced fumbles

The Kickers
Ryan Ohliger -- 6/9 FG, 13/14 PAT, Long 42
DJ Fitzpatrick -- 7/9 FG, 21/21 PAT, Long 47

The Punters
Johnny Ayers -- 37.2 yards per kick, Long 57
DJ Fitzpatrick -- 41.0 yards per kick, Long 59

The Kick Returners
Will Blackmon -- 35.3 yds per KO return (1 TD)
#1 in nation in kickoff returns
10.6 yds per punt return
Chase Anastasio -- 20.8 yards per KO ret, Long 40
  Carlyle Holiday -- 8.4 yards per punt return, Long 21

Final Analysis By Tom Henault on loan from www.bchoop.com

The Eagle defense should keep them in the game versus the Irish, but the coaches need to focus on self scouting and get the running game back on track. The vaunted O-Line wasn't able to open holes, so BC became one-dimensional. BC's tailbacks were the healthiest they've been since the opener, but managed only 33 first half yards, 74 positive yards by the RB's for a total of 56 on the game. BC shouldn't worry about the next 1,000 yard tailback, instead they need to focus on a 100 yard rushing game as a team to open up play action. Boston College improved to 37th in the nation in passing -while plummeting twelve spots in rushing.

Grant Adams earned a 3-way tie for 2nd most receptions in a game for BC with 12 catches versus Pitt. The passing game was strong for BC, but at a cost to the running game. The real problem with BC against Pitt was penalties- 12 penalties for a costly 118 yards, inducing 2 delays of game penalties in the red zone. These are focus penalties, not the results of emotion in the midst of a play.

Special teams were special for BC against Pitt. The kicking game was solid, and Will Blackmon started the last touchdown drive with a 60-yard return. Grant Adams added to his career day with a blocked punt, which Pitt advanced-but not far enough for the first down as the Big East officials claimed, according to my Tivo. Special teams could be the key to helping BC's offense, so that they can put up points without having to go 80 yards each drive.

Notre Dame does not want the streak against BC to extend to 4 losses in a row. They realize that we are still under the old bowl alignment in the Big East- BC and Notre Dame are playing for the same bowl slots at the end of the year. Tennessee, Pitt and USC follow up BC, so they need this game to be bowl eligible. Boston College's defense will keep them in the game, but they can't afford another zero in the sack column. I predict a hard fought, intense game but the Eagles will be hard pressed to keep up with Notre Dame's offense.

Final Score: Boston College 13 Notre Dame 20

Final score prediction, updated @1:03AM EST after the Sox beat the Yankees and the faith of Boston sports fans has been rewarded:

Boston College 23 Notre Dame 20

Notre Dame Links
Official Site
CBS Sportsline
Fox Sports

Notre Dame by the Numbers

Boston College has won three years in a row against Notre Dame and four times in the last five years.
Notre Dame has outscored their opponents 51-18 in the fourth quarter this season.
Factoring out Navy, who only attempted 6 passes, Notre Dame is allowing 7.2 yards per catch, to BC's 5.6

NCAA Ranking BC ND
Offense - Run 48 83
Offense - Pass 37 34
Offense - Scoring 81 55
Defense - Run 14 21
Defense - Pass 13 52
Defense - Scoring 4 34