College Football action on Saturday afternoon and the Boston College Eagles will square off with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. These teams last met back in 2017 and the Irish won that game on the road by a score of 49-20. The Eagles enter this game at 5-5 on the year while Notre Dame comes in at 8-2.
The Eagles Are Struggling On DefenseThe Boston College Eagles began their season at 2-0 but they have since gon just 3-5 to fall to 5-5 on the year. The Eagles need one more win to gain bowl eligibility. Can they gain that in this game? We shall see. If they hope to win, then the Eagles will need to shore up things on the defensive side of the ball. Boston College enters this game off a 38-31 home loss to Florida State and they have now allowed a whopping 548.7 ypg and 41.3 ppg over their last three games. That is not good news at all as the Eagles will be facing a Notre Dame offense that has found itself of late. The Eagles allowed the Seminoles to pile up 524 yards of total offense, including 346 yards through the air. Boston College is 125th in the nation against the pass, so Ian Book has to be licking his chops.
The Eagles have not been a bad offensive team and they did rollup 502 yards against the Seminoles, but it wasn't enough. The Eagles are led by their ground game, which is 5th in the nation and they piled up 281 yards on the Noles. Leading the way was AJ Dillon, who had 165 yards in the contest. He has 1451 yards rushing on the year, which is 3rd in the nation. Dillon will have a shot at a good game as the Irish are 79th in the nation against the run. Dennis Groselthrew for 227 yards with two TDs and an INT. He has taken over as the starter after Anthony Brown was lost for the season. As I stated above, the Eagles need just one more win for bowl eligibility and that will not be easy as they have a tough road game against Pittsburgh after this one.
Book Got His Groove BackThe Notre Dame Fighting Irish are no longer in play for a spot in the NCAA playoffs. That has allowed them to play free of late and it is showing up on the field. After their loss to the Wolverines, the Irish have won their last three games in a row and they have outscored their last two foes by a count of 90-27. Ian Book has had his struggles this year but he has found his groove of late. In his last two games, he has thrown for 465 yards with nine TDs and just two INTs. He also ran for 170 yards in those two games. He has to be licking his chops at facing the 125th ranked pass defense in the nation. Book has now thrown for 2298 yards with 26 TDs and just six INTs on the year but he has completed just 58.8% of his passes so far. He could have a big game in this one.
The Irish are 47th in the nation in rushing and 55th in passing, plus 19th in scoring, putting up 36 ppg. On defense, the Irish are 29th in total yards allowed, 5th against the pass and 18th in points allowed giving up just 19.3 ppg. Notre Dame has struggled against the run and they allowed Navy to pile up 281 yards on the ground in the 52-20 win, but stopping that offense is not easy for any team. Still, the Irish need their run defense to bee better in this one as the Eagles have a strong ground game. Notre Dame could be in trouble if they can't stop the run in this one. The Irish are not playing for a playoff berth, but they still have a good shot at a big-name bowl if they finish strong.
Trends Ar Courtesy Of Covers.com Boston College is:
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
Notre Dame is:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win.
- 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game