No. 2 Notre Dame aims to extend perfect start vs. Boston College
After one of its biggest victories in years, No. 2 Notre Dame will look to continue its perfect start to the season Saturday when it visits Boston College in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Notre Dame (7-0, 6-0 ACC) is coming off a remarkable 47-40 double-overtime win over then-No. 1 Clemson on its home field last week in South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish drove 91 yards in the final two minutes to force overtime, then held off the Tigers to mark the program’s first victory against a No. 1-ranked opponent since 1993.
Now, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly must get his team to refocus against Boston College (5-3, 4-3) rather than allowing their minds to drift toward a possible playoff run.
“We’ve got so much more work to do and, look, BC is going to be a challenge for us,” Kelly said. “I’ve got to get this football team back up, emotionally ready to play, and BC — we’ve got a target on our backs now.
“There are so many more things on my plate relative to what I have to do than really concern myself with playoffs and who is in and who is not in. There are other people that will do that, because the real challenge now is to keep this football team accelerating.”
Kelly is counting on Ian Book, his steady-minded quarterback, to maintain the offense’s momentum. Book has passed for 1,535 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception this season, also rushing for five touchdowns.
Running back Kyren Williams leads the Notre Dame ground game with 740 yards and 10 touchdowns, and the top receiving target has been tight end Michael Mayer with 20 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, linemen Isaiah Foskey and Adetokunbo Ogundeji each have 3 1/2 sacks to lead Notre Dame, and four defenders have one interception apiece.
Boston College is coming off a 16-13 road win against Syracuse, which followed a 34-28 setback at Clemson one week earlier. The Eagles have alternated wins and losses in each of the last seven weeks.
Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec is no stranger to the opposing coaching staff. Jurkovec started his college career at Notre Dame before transferring to Boston College, in part because he could not overcome Book on the depth chart.
This season, Jurkovec has passed for 2,083 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. His top end-zone target has been wideout Zay Flowers, who has 38 catches for 600 yards and six touchdowns. Boston College’s primary running back is David Bailey (429 yards, four TDs).
“The thing with Phil, I think every week you are going to see him improve like he has,” Boston College coach Jeff Hafley said. “He can sit in the pocket and throw the ball down the field. He can keep plays alive with the scramble and he keeps his eyes down the field better than any quarterback I’ve seen in a while.”
Last season, Notre Dame cruised past the Eagles 40-7, outgaining them 501-191.
–Field Level Media