NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (9-0)
at BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES (2-7)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Notre Dame -19, Total: 47.5
Unbeaten No. 4 Notre Dame tries to stay lucky for at least one more week when it visits Boston College on Saturday afternoon.
B.C. won six straight games in this series from 2001-2008, but Notre Dame has won the past three meetings, including a 16-14 squeaker last year. The unbeaten Irish, who have five wins by seven points or less this year, have played much better outside of South Bend, going 4-0 (SU and ATS) with a combined score of 141 to 29. The Eagles are 1-7 (SU and ATS) versus FBS teams this season, and have the third-fewest rushing yards in the nation (74.7 YPG), getting outrushed 604 to 52 in the past three weeks.
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Irish QB Everett Golson was benched in the second quarter of last week's game versus Pittsburgh, but returned in the second half and led his team to the 29-26 victory in triple overtime. Golson finished the day with a season-best 301 total yards of offense and three touchdowns including the game-winning QB sneak in the third extra session. He should be able to post another 300-yard day against a B.C. defense allowing 479 total YPG (11th in ACC), including 233 rushing YPG (6th-most in nation). Golson also knows he'll have time to throw against an Eagles team that has just six sacks for the entire season (tied for fewest in FBS) and only 31 Tackles For Loss (2nd-fewest in nation). Irish leading rusher Cierre Wood (537 rush yds, 3 TD) will also help out with the ground game, hoping to find more holes than he did in last year's meeting, when he finished with just 94 yards on 26 carries (3.6 YPC) against Boston College. Theo Riddick has been great for the Irish in the past three games with 302 rushing yards (5.4 YPC), and although he has never carried the football versus B.C., he did catch nine passes for 69 yards and a TD when he last faced the Eagles in 2010.
Although B.C. has just one win versus an FBS opponent this year (20-17 versus injury-ravaged Maryland), the Eagles have a history of ruining great seasons for the Irish, most recently in 2002 when Notre Dame entered the game 8-0. But the B.C. offense has been dreadful this year (22.1 PPG), and it won't get any better against the Irish, who rank second in the nation in scoring defense (11.7PPG) and 10th in total defense (295 YPG). B.C. will not have leading RB Andre Williams (584 rush yds, 4 TD) who suffered an abdominal injury last week versus Wake Forest. David Dudeck replaced Williams, but managed just 32 yards on 14 carries (2.3 YPC) against the Demon Deacons. The only way for the Eagles to hang in this game is for QB Chase Rettig to have a huge afternoon. In last year's loss to Notre Dame, Rettig was a pedestrian 18-for-38 for 176 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT, but has thrown at least one TD pass in every game this season, with 16 TD and 8 TD to complement his 285 passing YPG. His favorite target is junior WR Alex Amidon, who has seven games of 99+ receiving yards, including each of the past three contests, where he's totaled 26 catches for 385 yards and 2 TD. Boston College has committed eight turnovers in the past three games, including four at Wake Forest last week.