Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Boston College vs. Notre Dame Preview

Boston College
Eagles (3-0)

Ranking: consensus #4
Head Coach: Jeff Jagodzinski
Coaching Record: 6-0, 1st season
Last Year: 10-3 (5-3 ACC)
Last Week: Beat Bowling Green, 55-24


University of Notre Dame
Fighting Irish (1-5)

Head Coach: Charlie Weis
Coaching Record: 20-11, 3rd season
Last Year: 10-3, Lost to Louisiana State in Allstate Sugar Bowl (#17 AP / #19 Coaches postseason ranking)
Last Week: Beat #25 UCLA, 20-6

Location: Notre Dame Stadium (aka The House That Rock Built)
Date and Time: October 13, 2007 3:43 p.m.
Series Record: Notre Dame leads 9-7

Notre Dame Quarterback and Receivers vs. Boston College Secondary
Here's a little statistic for you, concerning the teams we've played this year, as far as pass defense is concerned:
Penn State #13 - 172.67 yds/gm (144 yards passing)
Michigan #40 - 205.33 yds/gm (ND: 85 yards passing)
Georgia Tech #71 - 233.8s yds/gm (ND: 130 yards passing)
Michigan State #78 - 241.17 yds/gm (ND: 86 yards passing)
UCLA #79 - 242.83 yds/gm (ND: 94 yards passing)
Purdue #84 - 247.50 yds/gm (ND: 377 yards passing)
Boston College #110 - 290.83 yds/gm (ND: ???)
The Fredo defense hasn't stopped a passing offense this year, and the only success we've had through the air this year was against Purdue, the weakest secondary we've played. Fredo's secondary is far weaker than Purdue's, so don't expect Charlie to play a conservative game this week. I'll be surprised if we attempt much in the way of running the ball, as their is no need to. Jimmy Clausen has his breakout game this week against Fredo.
Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Running Backs and Tight Ends vs. Boston College Linebackers
Boston College has the 3rd ranked rushing defense in the nation, giving up less than 50 yards per game. Since our run game only averages a pitiful 33 yards per game, it's no doubt that Fredo gets the edge in this one. The good news is that there is no reason to rely on our running game, with the vulnerable Fredo secondary.
Edge: Boston College

Notre Dame Offensive Line vs. Boston College Defensive Line
Fredo's defensive line isn't that scary, compared to the other teams we've played. Indeed, only Purdue's pass rush is weaker than Fredo's. They don't have a lot of sacks or tackles for loss, considering the caliber of opponent they've played. They are good run stuffers, but we don't need to run the ball this week.
Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Defensive Line vs. Boston College Offensive Line
Laws and Kunz have established themselves as dominant defensive linemen. Boston College's offensive line has been very good at protecting Matt Ryan so far, but they haven't had to deal with a lineman like Trevor Laws. They did a decent job picking up Georgia Tech's blitz packages, but they are vulnerable to 1-on-1 matchups, being almost as young as our offensive line. Expect us to bring some basic pressure packages, and relying on our stellar defensive backfield to diffuse this attack.
Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Linebackers vs. Boston College Running Backs and Tight Ends
Fredo has enough of a rushing attack to keep their passing game going, but the Eagles haven't been placed in a situation where they absolutely have to run the ball. Notre Dame's defense is getting much better at stopping the run, but still
grade out as one of the worst rush defenses in the country halfway through the season.
Edge: Boston College (barely)

Notre Dame Secondary vs. Boston College Quarterbacks and Receivers
This is the big matchup in this game. Fredo has the 11th ranked passing offense, averaging over 300 yards per game. Notre Dame has the 4th best pass defense in the country, allowing only half that.
Also, last week's game against UCLA showed that the Irish pass defense is not just a function of their poor rush defense. When this defense got a lead, they brought pressure and gobbled up passes like they were tic-tacs.
Say what you will about the Irish defense, but they are not weak against the pass.
This is strength versus strength, and if the Irish D can continue to be stingy through the air, this bodes very well for the Irish overall.
Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Coaches vs. Boston College Coaches
Charlie is in his third year as head coach, and has learned how to overcome adversity. Jagodzinski is in his first year as a head coach, and inherited a solid senior QB, experienced rusher, and good receiving corps - they haven't faced any adversity yet this year. In fact, this year's Fredo team is deja vu of the 2005 Irish, just waiting for someone to exploit their glaring weaknesses.
Fredo isn't use to the type of hype and success they've been experiencing, and will be overconfident coming in to the House That Rock Built this week. Jagodzinski hasn't done anything to show that he is an above average coach, except for handling an early season game against the Yellowjackets.
Weis has all the film he needs to study the new head coach, and Coach Brown and him can surely identify some weaknesses.
Edge: Notre Dame

Quarterback and Receivers vs. Secondary: Edge Notre Dame
Running Backs and Tight Ends vs. Linebackers: Edge Boston College
Offensive Line vs. Defensive Line: Edge Notre Dame
Defensive Line vs. Offensive Line: Edge Notre Dame
Linebackers vs. Running Backs and Tight Ends: Edge Boston College
Secondary vs. Quarterbacks and Receivers: Edge Notre Dame
Coaches vs. Coaches: Edge Notre Dame

Analysis and Prediction

Notre Dame is, by far, the more seasoned team at this point in the season. Boston College's only quality opponent thus far was Georgia Tech. Notre Dame has faced 6 straight talented high level bowl quality opponents.
Notre Dame's young team is just waking up, and have suddenly learned how to win a game and sustain their effort through 60 minutes.
Brown's defense turned the corner two weeks ago against Purdue. Charlie's offense won't be far behind.
More importantly, this team is chomping at the bit to play spoiler for a team that has made their entire reputation playing spoiler for others. Coming home after a long, tough string of games, this team is going to be fired up and ready to hit.

Fredo has no idea what's coming for him.

Notre Dame 24
Boston College 21


Anonymous said...

Any analysis that has us favored in the matchup of our secondary against Ryan is ridiculous. I'm as big a homer as the next guy, but please.

Wacko said...

What have you seen that makes you believe that the Irish secondary can't shut down BC?

We have been stingy against the pass all year, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Unlike many of our early season games, we match up well against Fredo. They aren't a strong running team, and they have a weak secondary. Our secondary matches up well with their pass-heavy offense.

If teams want to beat us, they need to man up at the liine of scrimmage, not finesse their way ahead.

Fredo has no toughness, and they are going to get hit in the mouth this week.

Hal said...

Are you any relation to Coach Noel O'Sullivan, the ND golf coach/PE teacher who made unreasonably optimistic predictions about the team's fortunes through the 80s and 90s?

Seriously, I like your fire. It's a little hard to believe we're going to score enough points to stay in this one, but I'm hoping you're right.

One thing's for sure: we've got nothing to lose. And with an aggressive coach like Weis, I expect the team to let it all hang out.

Anonymous said...

OK "Big Brother” keep calling us Fredo. Let’s talk on Sunday where I’ll have some humble pie ready for you…

ND's stats against the pass are decent this year as teams have built up big leads and then ran the clock out. Your team is young and simply bad this year. Live with it and hope for the best. Don't go to the gutter with things like “Fredo”.

I'm a BC grad and was there when in 92 when Holz ran the score up against us (fake punt when up by a ton – final score 54-7). We got our revenge in 93, stealing your national title hopes with a last minute filed goal.

The fact is BC and ND are more alike than different - Catholic Schools with good football teams. I've been to South Bend and I must say the student body is extremely friendly, something a Bostonian is not necessarily accustomed to. We share traditions, e.g. Frank Leahy. But you still call us pretenders?

ND didn't want to be our rival in the 90s - things seem to be changing from the sound of things. Green shirts anyone?

Maybe “Fredo” will keep kicking ND butt. BC has won the last 4 ND-BC games.


Wacko said...

I deleted the comment because I didn't feel it added anything to the discussion.

If you had provided reasoning to go with your comment, I'd have left it up.

I allow the hate on my blog, I just don't allow pointless comments.

And don't hurl personal insults. It's childish.

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait for this series to end. It had the potential to be great, but the hubris and self-absorbtion that eminates from South Bend is tiresome. Just because people at ND who have always wanted to be at ND may have applied to BC, does not mean that most people at BC want to be at ND. BC has more crossover applications with Georgetown, NYU, and Harvard than ND. It isn't a slam on ND to point out that a lot of people don't want to spend four years in a small midwestern town in Indiana, but rather would prefer to be in Boston, New York or Washington.

Hey, I have friends who went to ND, and it is a fine school. I would have hated every minute of life in a rustbelt city with limited cultural and entertainment opportunities where most of life has to be supplied by the campus. That is why you make a big deal about pep rallies and we don't. Maybe we do think they are kind of hokey, but it isn't so much out of not respecting your traditions, but just not getting any of it because at BC, while we love our football, we also have other things to do, so we don't parade the marching band and haul in alumni talk show hosts to preach to the choir about how great we are.

On an intellectual level there is probably some friction stemming from the fact that BC kids have a more Jesuit and less traditional outlook on Catholicism.

The well has been poisoned, and what could have been great isn't. I think BC fans may have not always been on best behavior but I think ND's habit of always trying to get the better end of the contract rather than making it a fair, long-term home and home series hasn't helped either.

The person who compared ND to the Yankees was on target. In many ways they are more sure about their self-worth than reality suggests, and they are resting on long-wilted laurels.

Anonymous said...

Given the way the year's gone - #4 losing to unranked - I think that's probably happened a couple times this year - right?

While ND looked very bad in early games, there is no way to keep that much talent at bay - no matter how "good" a coach Weis is.

I do like the Fredo taunt.

Anonymous said...

IN virtually every post this year, you've talked about how badly the upcoming opponent sucks. Purdue and Michigan, I think, are the two biggest examples. Now Notre Dame has faced "six high level bowl quality opponents"?

A team that you gave an overall F grade to beats the #4 team in the country? You're serious? About both things?

Anonymous said...


STOP MAKING PREDICTIONS. You're a freaking curse.

Wacko said...

I'm not a curse.

I'm an optimist.