Charlie Weis spoke of six plays that really changed the Boston College game during his Sunday press conference. If these plays go the other way, maybe the score is reversed, but that’s why they play the games. Anyway, here are the plays Weis identified as the game changers
1. 52 Yard Run by L.V. Whitworth – 1st Quarter
Shortly after Mo Crum left the game, BC busted off this 52 yard run right through the middle of the defense. Toryan Smith and Joe Brockington were the only two linebackers in the game for the Irish and for one of the few times this year, Trevor Laws was blown off the line of scrimmage. Laws got pushed back into Smith to open the hole and Whitworth was off.
“Our defense really didn’t give up one drive that didn’t start in plus territory with the exception of that one drive for score. And on that drive you had a 52-yard run in there that really was the main difference between getting off the field and giving up points.”
2. Bad snap from JJ Jansen which resulted in Geoff Price’s knee touching the ground on a punt in the second quarter.
Jansen’s snap was definitely low, but Price as a fifth year senior needs to know that he can’t pick up the ball with his knee on the ground. Even if the punt went into the end zone for a touchback (which we don’t know if it would have since the play was whistled dead) that is a 39 yard difference in field position.
3. Clausen’s second interception on the Notre Dame’s first offensive play of the 3rd quarter
Jimmy should probably never have made the throw because Carlson had blanket coverage on him.
4. Excessive Celebration on Brian Smith’s interception return for a touchdown after Notre Dame cut the deficit to six points
Notre Dame had a little pile up in the end zone with some players from the bench which resulted in an excessive celebration penalty. It’s tough to fault these kids for getting excited, but they have to know the rules better and avoid these penalties because they are field position killers.
“I don’t think the referees were too upset when the team that was on the field was partying. It’s when the other guys came on the field and got involved in it. And I don’t blame the officials for calling it. We need to do a better job of controlling ourselves, and you know, that one falls on me.“
5. Kickoff coverage on the ensuing kickoff
When I saw us lining up to kickoff from the 15 I knew we were in trouble since our kickoffs routinely only reach the 10 yard line, but the coverage unit still did a bad job of containing the return. Boston College started that drive at the ND 44 yard line and five plays later Ryan threw his second touchdown of the game
6. Holding on the 4th and 1 that would have been a touchdown
Turkovich got flagged for holding on a play that should have cut the deficit to 27-21 with just under six minutes left in the game. The crowd was rocking and the Irish would have been down six with all of the momentum in the world, but
“You can call it holding. You could not call it, too. But you could call it holding. He’s engaged with him the whole time. It wasn’t like the guy went by him and he grabbed him. He’s locked on to him at the line of scrimmage, and the guy’s going to his outside, and he’s still locked on to him. The guy’s coming around, and he’s still locked on to him. So the official can call holding on the play. I would prefer that he didn’t, but there is enough evidence on the tape where you can see him call holding.”