Frankie V’s Prediction: Can Notre Dame Stay Unbeaten at Home?

Notre Dame enters Senior Day today looking to cap off another unbeaten season at home.  The last time Notre Dame lost at home was back in September of 2017 when Georgia overtook Notre Dame Stadium.  Boston College won’t take over Notre Dame Stadium today, and the Eagles are very unlikely to replicate what the Bulldogs did over two years ago the last time the Irish left their home field with a loss.  Here’s how I see today’s game unfolding.

What I’m Worried About This Week

AJ Dillon – I have the utmost faith in Clark Lea devising a defensive game plan for today that will limit AJ Dillon’s impact, but the fact remains he is a big boy and one of the most talented running backs Notre Dame will have seen all year.  He might even be the best back the Irish face this year.   He has 1,451 yards on the season with 13 touchdowns and is averaging 5.3 yards a carry. Only Virginia Tech and Clemson have slowed down Dillon this year, and even Clemson allowed a 4.0 ypc to Dillon.

Boston College treating this like the Super Bowl – The one thing that can trip up Notre Dame today is Boston College treating this like the Super Bowl and Notre Dame treating it like any other game.  This is a rivalry that means a whole lot more to the team in maroon than the team in blue and gold, and this game has probably been circled on BC’s calendar for a long time.  They haven’t won at Notre Dame in over a decade and will play with a chip on their shoulders today. That should last for the first few minutes of the game, and then the talent will win out.  Don’t be surprised if this one is close early, though.

Notre Dame’s rushing attack – For as great as the passing game has been the last few weeks, the Notre Dame rushing attack has been stuck in neutral since mid-October when Tony Jones Jr ran all over USC.  Notre Dame hasn’t been able to get the ground game going since then other than Ian Book‘s outburst against Duke.  It seems pretty clear that Jones and Jafar Armstrong are still banged up and not quite 100%, so I don’t think that will change much today.  Luckily for Notre Dame, they should be able to get by fine this week and next with the passing game, but the lack of a rushing attack overall this year is one of the big reasons we’re now on the outside of the New Year’s 6 Bowl conversation and not in the playoff hunt.

What I’m Not Worried This Week

Senior Day – After all these seniors went through in 2016 to start their careers, I’m not worried about Senior Day jitters or emotions getting in the way.  This group knows that they can go out there today and complete a second straight season undefeated at home and continue the home winning streak against a team that shouldn’t give them much of a problem.

Enjoy watching the likes of Khalid Kareem and Chase Claypool out there today.  Both have been excellent players for the Irish the last four years, and we’re only going to get to see them in an Irish uniform a few more times.

Special Uniforms – The last time Notre Dame wore special jerseys for Boston College at home, things did not go well.  Notre Dame isn’t wearing lime green jerseys today, though, and Tyrone Willingham isn’t coaching this team either.  Notre Dame’s slightly alternative uniforms that pay homage to the 1988 National Champions aren’t the kind of jerseys that get the opposing team’s attention.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston College didn’t even notice the difference.

Ian Book – He’s been fantastic for the last two weeks, and Boston College’s passing defenses is one of the worst in the country.  He might not throw another five touchdowns today like he did last week, but Ian Book is going to put up some big numbers today.  He is currently at 26 touchdowns to 6 interceptions on the season, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got to 30 touchdowns on the season before the end of today.  He has feasted on secondaries like the one he faces today, and we finally saw him unleash the deep ball last week against Navy.

Clark Lea adjusting to whatever Boston College tries.  I am worried about slowing down AJ Dillon because he’s so damn good. Still, I’m also not worried about Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea adjusting to whatever Boston College does to get AJ Dillon going.  Lea’s been great all year long at adjusting to whatever the opposition has tried to do, and that will continue today.  I expect Lea to come out and dare Boston College to beat them through the air.  Boston College isn’t good enough in the passing game to do that.

Players I’m Watching

  • Braden Lenzy – His touchdown last week was amazing to see since we’ve been waiting so long for Notre Dame to take advantage of his jets.  Look for Notre Dame to dial up another deep ball for Lenzy at some point again this week.  BC doesn’t have the secondary to keep up with him, so it should be there.
  • Drew White – BC will try to run, even if Notre Dame dares them to pass.  White could end up with another double-digit tackling effort today.
  • Trevor Ruhland – What Ruhand’s done this year filling in despite mounting injuries that had doctors telling him he shouldn’t play this year has been a case study in selflessness and dedication.  He gets one more game in Notre Dame Stadium today.
  • All the Seniors – On that note, I’m watching all the seniors and players that we might see for the last time at home today.  Kareem, Chris Finke, Claypool, Alohi Gilman, Jalen Elliott, Asmar Bilal, etc.  Enjoy them today and cheer them on for what they’ve done for the program.
  • Cole Kmet – And pray that this isn’t the last time we see Cole Kmet at home because he will have an opportunity to leave early for the NFL this year.
  • Phil Jurkovec – Today is all about the seniors, but if Notre Dame does what it should do today, the game will end with Jurkovec on the field.

Prediction Time

Last week I was skittish about Notre Dame’s chances against Navy, but after back to back blowouts, I am feeling really good about Notre Dame’s chances against a mediocre Boston College team.  BC has brought some good team into South Bend over the years, but this is not one of them.  I don’t think the running game will get on track, but I also don’t think they will need it today.  Much to the chagrin of some, we’re going to see a heavy dose of passing this afternoon – as we should when facing one of the worst passing defenses in the country.

Ian Book and Chase Claypool continue the connection we’ve seen the last few weeks for another pair of touchdowns, and the Irish jump out on Boston College and roll to a Senior Day victory.

Notre Dame 42, Boston College 17

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22 Comments

  1. Lamar Jackson’s T shirt:

    Noboby Cares
    Try Harder

    It made me smile, because rather than accepting the fawning sycophancy of the lackeys and falseidolers at ESPN and Fox Sp;orts
    Lamar is holding himself to a higher standard. Good on ya’ Lamar!

    But that motto on the Tshirt encapsulates some of the inner intensity of this Notre Dame program (not just the ’19 team)

    10/27/2019 the morning after the Deluge in ann Arbor, and the sneers of Jim Harbaugh.

    All the boards, and most, MOST of the boards were like “the View” but, ahem, without the steely masculinity of the View panel.

    Chicken Little, had he arrived on the boards, would have been labelled a “pollyana.”

    MOST (I see ya, BGC, Southside, Crazy Mike, and many, MANY others) quit, went to the wailing wall of Novembers past
    and conjured up an Apocalyptic November.

    But not the team,
    not the coaching staff.

    NOBODY CARES

    Work Harder

    4-0 since then.

    The ultimate competition, as in the REAL BATTLE, is never against an opponent, or an adversary in the business world.

    It is against your own intrinsic potential. That is the REAL Armageddon.

    And this team is closer to that than at any point since ’89.

    Players will leave, will enter transfer portals. But this organism, this PROGRAM is on strong footing.

    Something, everything CHANGED after ’16

    It’s different now.

    and Much better

    Go Irish

  2. Another undefeated season at home, and only 1 loss at home in the last 3 years!! This senior class is now 31-6 with 2 games left in the last 3 years, and has set the bar for ALL future classes!!!!!!!!!

    1. He already said he would be recruiting Book hard to come back next season. PJ says screw it and enters the portal in December. Should have put PJ in at the start of the 4th when it was 33-7.

  3. The ND O line is putrid, especially Eichenberg.

    This team will not ever be elite with O line play like this. No run game from the RBs, Book having to scramble, penalties, etc.

    1. Totally agree.I dont understand it. Everyone always rates Notredameds offensive lines amongst the best in the country in recruiting rankings and many of our lineman are getting drafted and doing very well in the nfl. But under Brian Kelly Notredame has never had a dominant consistent running game. Yes some of it is a lack of great backs with speed and I think some of it is poor predictable play calling but also I wonder if Quinn is just not an elite coach or maybe the blocking schemes structure of the offense needs to be changed. I worry when I hear Kelly say the offense doesn’t need to be fixed.We just have to execute better. I disagree. 8 points at Miami 3 points against Clemson basically a gift and garbage time touchdown against Michigan. 10 points at Georgia the other 7 points due to Georgia fumbled a punt on their own 7 yard line.If you dont think all of that doesn’t require major changes coaching personnel and scheme he is fooling himself.

  4. The Notre Dame Fan Feed has been a breath of fresh air. Ryan Harris is good. Darius Walker is good as well. Daelin Hayes is doing very well. It must be hard for him watching and not playing.

  5. Tirico and Flutie form an outstanding team together. Always unbiased and impartial. You can never tell who they are pulling for and that’s how it should be. Sort of like it used to be listening to Dodger games with Vin Scully calling the games. Agree?

    1. I actually thought Tirico was decent last year when ND played his alma mater, Syracuse. Of course, it wasn’t much of a game, was it?!

      No way I was putting up with “Flutie Flakes” today. I can imagine he had an orgasm on that long BC pass.

      I have to admit this ND fan coverage has had its share of glitches. Down and distance has been way off at times.

      ND D needs to just run blitz and hope a third-string, walk-on QB with non-star WRs doesn’t beat you. If he does, oh, well….

      Still have a bad feeling in my gut about this game but have been wrong lately about my gut feeling so I hope that continues.

      GO IRISH!

  6. Watch out now if ND doesn’t score on this drive!

    This team is just so apathetic. No emotion. No sense of urgency. No respect for themselves or the opponents.

    Typical BK game.

    The Irish might win this. But this is uninspired play thus far!

  7. Wow, are you kidding me, Claypool?!

    This game has all the feel of an upset. BC is playing D way above itself, and the ND O is playing like its worse self.

    1. This one reminding me of Book winning then the fans pulling him into the stands. As usual BC trying to ruin our New Years Day aspirations. When Claypool dropped the ball I knew the curse was still on.

      1. No curse, GK. We’ll continue on this trend through Stanford, in the first warm weather they’ve felt in awhile. Then at 10-2 you would think “New Year’s Six for the IRISH. But which Bowl, and whom do we play in that Bowl. Notre Dame used to have an easy policy…we play, and I quote, “the highest ranking opponent available” and then, sometimes, the players voted on whether to accept the bid. As an example, the 1975 team, Devine’s first, But it was a minor bowl, and we had never done that before. So you see what WE give up when this 4 team playoff system is adopted, and continues,

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. BGC this ND team is so banged up on both sides of the lines but continues to fight thru injuries! Truly this group of seniors after a rough start ( 2016 ) showed the heart and determination to make their mark in the great history of the IRISH!! GO IRISH, BEAT STANFORD!!

  8. Weekly false start on opening drive stalls drive.

    FGs are OK but need TDs this week and next at the Farm.

    Let’s hope ND takes this game as seriously as BC always does. Keep home streak alive, lads!

    GO IRISH!

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