Boston College @ #4 Notre Dame ’15: Key Matchups

Dehsone Kizer - Notre Dame QB
Photo: Charles LeClaire // USA TODAY Sports

The Irish will travel to historic Fenway Park to battle rival Boston College in the annual Shamrock Series game.  Boston College have one of the best defenses in the country, ranking first in yards per play but also have one of the least potent offenses.  The Irish have a chance to make a statement in a primetime game with Stanford coming up the following week in a hugely important clash.  The Eagles will rise to the occasion versus Notre Dame so the Irish must be ready for a physical game that could be low-scoring.  The following are the matchups the Irish must control to keep their playoff hopes alive:

Jaylon Smith versus Tyler Rouse

Jaylon Smith will likely put together an extensive highlight-reel versus Tyler Rouse and the atrocious Eagles offense.  Rouse has a team-high 307 rush yards and five touchdowns in 10 games while averaging only 4.4 yards per carry.  Rouse isn’t a game-breaker so Smith simply needs to take care of his assignment and shoot through holes and he will routinely stuff Rouse and the Eagles rushing attack.

Cole Luke versus Thadd Smith

The only thing worse than the Eagles rushing offense is their passing offense.  The best weapon they have at receiver is Thadd Smith who has recorded a team-high 216 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 13 receptions, which is good for second on the team.  Irish corner Cole Luke will be more than up for the challenge of shutting Smith down and anything short of keeping him out of the end-zone would be a failure.

DeShone Kizer versus Steven Daniels

Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer will face one of the toughest defenses he has seen all year and its leader is Steven Daniels.  Daniels is an excellent linebacker leading the Eagles in tackles with 70 and tackles for loss with 15, to go along with six sacks and an interception.  The Eagles will likely try to eliminate C.J. Prosise from the game and limit big plays so Kizer’s job will be to make the right decisions with the football and avoid mistakes that could give the Boston College offense short-field opportunities.

Will Fuller versus Justin Simmons

In a battle that will be critical to the outcome of the game Will Fuller will face off with safety Justin Simmons.  Simmons is the best defensive back on the Eagles roster and is a ball-hawk with three interceptions on the season.  Fuller will be looking to beat Simmons deep downfield all night and if he is successful on a couple occasions that in itself could be enough for an Irish victory.

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  1. There are three things I love Timothy Cline:

    1- C.J. Posie (Wait. What?)
    2- Grammar
    3- Punctuation

    You nailed all three! GO IRISH!

  2. Simmons isn’t on the weekly questionable/doubtful report, but I hope he’s not fully recovered until AFTER this week.
    This 2015 BC team returned zero OL, 3 total starters on offense, two of which have been out for the season.Their LOS on offense has been dominated by their opponents nearly every week. BC has scored 73 total points over their last eight games, barely 9ppg. The 17 they scored vs. Clemson was the result of: a turnover leading to a short-field TD, and a blocked punt resulting in points. The only other time they scored 17 excluding their two opening games vs. Maine (24) and Howard (no kin of Cosell, apparently) was vs. No. IL, which BC won, 17-14. Okwara’s and the rest of the D’s stats could soar like an eagle as ND mashes and pressure-cooks their QB and RBs, with the ND DL feasting early on this Saturday before Thanksgiving.BC should not be able to gobble up yards or points. ND should be able to cram very many rushing attempts, stuffing their attempted ball-control O.’
    Enough of the fowl Thanksgiving references.
    Go Irish.

  3. ChrisJ…i think we all would. Not just because he was NJ’s best QB in his Sr year, but also it would mean that we have a 4 TD advantage late in the 4th quarter. That might not be happening. BC’s D is pretty stingy. For us to keep that 4th spot, I think we need to show a 3 TD final advantage. Maybe even pitch a shutout.

  4. I have learned to stop telling people that I’m looking forward to see Brandon Wimbush play…maybe this time will be different since I haven’t talked about it this week.

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