Notre Dame looks to get back in the win column this weekend with a trip to Boston College to take on the Eagles in the Holy War – a rivalry that might be just a bit one sided, but a rivalry none the less. The Irish are licking their wounds from yet another close loss this time at the hands of Georgia. Will Notre Dame rebound by taking out some frustration on an inferior team or will they play another close game against a team with less talent?
How’d We Do Last Week
Unfortunately, pretty good. I predicted a two point Notre Dame loss and the Irish lost by one. I was concerned with Notre Dame trying a trick play and sure enough they ran one on their first offensive snap of the game. That just set a bad tone for the rest of the game. When you run a trick play the first play of the game you are telling the opposing team you don’t think you can beat them straight up. And from that point on, Georgia owned the trenches when the Irish held the football.
Where I was way off last week was in thinking Notre Dame would be able to run the ball. The Irish offensive line was thrown around by Georgia in a performance that will be jumping out to NFL scouts scrutinizing Notre Dame’s NFL bound linemen in the off-season.
I was also worried the Georgia ground game would gash Notre Dame, but both of UGA’s NFL caliber backs were held under 100 yards. Hats off to my man Mike Elko for scheming up a way to slow down the Georgia backs and to the Irish interior defense for holding up at the point of attack.
What Concerns Me This Week
Notre Dame’s Other Wide Receivers. Will someone, anyone, stand up opposite Equanimeous St. Brown? I don’t care who at this point but someone has to. If it’s a case of Brian Kelly just not playing someone to prove a point, well that backfired. If we see Chase Claypool lined up opposite St. Brown and Michael Young in the slot, I would be not be upset at all. And where has Miles Boykin been? He had a great spring but he’s been invisible on the season. Right now my confidence is low that Notre Dame gets the receiver mix right this weekend.
Play Calling. Take out all of the trick plays from the playbook this weekend and save them for a time they are needed. This is an inferior team that Notre Dame should be able to do almost anything they want on offensively. Line up and run the offense and forget any gimmicks. We’ll see if that happens this weekend. Based on last week, I have my doubts.
What Doesn’t Concern Me This Week
Brandon Wimbush. Kid had a bad game last week. Happens to the best of them. Everett Golson’s first night game at Notre Dame (Michigan 2012) was a disaster and that Michigan team was not nearly as good as this Georgia team. And yes, I know maybe Golson isn’t the best example. Still, I’m not concerned with Wimbush at all this weekend. I think we see him flash his immense potential with a big game. Two touchdowns in the air and two on the ground for Wimbush this weekend.
Equanimeous St. Brown. He had a very quiet game against Georgia despite being targeted often. Boston College is going to bring their safeties down to stop the run. ESB will get behind the Boston College defense at least once for a long touchdown. Once the Irish hit the Eagles deep, it’ll open things up a bit on the ground and that’s when Wimbush gets in the endzone with his legs.
Notre Dame’s Offensive Line. Doubling down here. Mike McGlinchey bounces back big time this week and Notre Dame controls the line of scrimmage. BC is going to stack the box so the rushing totals might not be Temple level impressive, but they will certainly be better than last week. Wimbush will also have enough time in the pocket to make plays downfield with his. arm.
Anything Boston College Has on Offense. Boston College’s offense is not very good and it hasn’t been for a while. Notre Dame’s defense is improving and Mike Elko is proving to be the real deal early on. If he can devise a way to keep those Georgia backs under control, he won’t have a problem keeping Boston College in neutral all day. The Notre Dame defense will shine again this week.
Players to Watch
- Brandon Wimbush. See comments above.
- Jerry Tillery. Boston College has a freshman center starting. Tillery shines this week after having a couple of good under the radar performances the last two weekends.
- Dexter Williams. He will rip off a long run or two and the Notre Dame Twitterverse will meltdown. My Notre Dame text chain will blow up. And I will get yelled at for yelling at the TV.
- Nick Coleman. He had a hell of a game against Georgia, but I can see the Eagles testing him early.
- Mike McGlinchey. Already said he will bounce back, but hoping to see a mean streak come out in him. Take out your frustrations on Boston College young man.
- Alize Mack. I thought he would breakout last week and it didn’t happen. One of Wimbush’s two touchdowns this week, one will be to Mack down the seam.
- Daelin Hayes. He gets back in the sack column this week.
- Nyles Morgan. This is the week we see him get double digits in sacks.
- Drue Tranquill. He’ll be involved in another turnover this weekend.
I was really worried last week and predicted a loss. This week, I’m not worried at all. I know that almost every Notre Dame – Boston College game is close, but I don’t care. Notre Dame is going to win this game pretty handily and the issue will never be in doubt. Wimbush gets back on track and the Irish roll into East Lansing next weekend with some confidence.
Without even looking up my pre-season prediction, I thought the exact same thing so let’s roll with it.
Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 10
Pre-Season Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 10