Notre Dame vs Boston

No. 2 Notre Dame vs Boston College Preview | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 13, 2020

Off one of the biggest regular-season wins in school history, Notre Dame is up to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25, but the Irish could be in letdown mode on Saturday when they visit Boston College, which is the only other Catholic FBS football-playing school.

How to Bet Notre Dame at Boston College NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Alumni Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Notre Dame -13.5 (total 50)

Last Meeting

In 2019 in South Bend, the Irish were ranked 16th when they spanked Boston College 40-7 – BC is better this year. QB Ian Book completed 26 of 40 passes for 239 yards and three scores, and he led the Irish with 66 yards on 12 carries. Book is still the team’s starter. Leading 16-7 at halftime thanks to Jonathan Doerer’s field goals of 47, 20 and 45 yards, the Irish scored 17 points in the third quarter to ground the Eagles. Boston College star running back AJ Dillon was held to 56 yards on 14 carries and Boston College managed just 128 yards on 41 runs. Dillon is now with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

Boston College and Notre Dame meet for the 26th time in series history Saturday. The Eagles and Fighting Irish, the only Catholic institutions in FBS, play for the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl. The Irish lead 16-9 and have won the past seven. Boston College is 4-6 all-time at home versus Notre Dame but hasn’t won at home in the series since 2008.

Why Bet on Notre Dame? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Irish (7-0) stunned No. 1 Clemson 47-40 in double-overtime last week to jump Notre Dame up to No. 2 in the latest poll. It snapped Clemson’s 36-game regular-season winning streak. It was the Irish’s ninth all-time win over a No. 1 team, tied for second-most in the country.

Down 33-26 with under two minutes left, Ian Book and the Irish took over on their own nine-yard line. Book then led the Irish with an eight-play, 91-yard drive, highlighted by a 53-yard pass to Avery Davis to get the Irish in the red zone. Three plays later, Book connected with Davis again on a four-yard pass for a touchdown to tie the game with 22 seconds left.

In the second OT, a three-year TD run by Kyren Williams gave Notre Dame the lead. When Clemson took possession, back-to-back sacks from Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Daelin Hayes set up an eventual Clemson 4th-and-24. The Irish denied the ensuing passing play and earned its 23rd consecutive win at home. The Fighting Irish defense held the Tigers to 34 rushing yards for their lowest total since 2009 while limiting Travis Etienne to his fewest yards per carry of his career (1.6).

Notre Dame’s 47 points were the most an Irish team has ever scored against a No. 1 opponent. No FBS team has a longer active win streak than the Irish (13 games). Notre Dame has started the season 7-0 for the third time under head coach Brian Kelly. The Irish are now 30-3 overall since the beginning of the 2018 season (.909). ND has only trailed for 23:20 total minutes this season out of a total 420:00 regulation minutes.

Book is 27-3 (.900) as a starter, making him one of only two FBS quarterbacks to boast a .900 or above win rate (min. 20 wins), even as Book ranks 13th overall in total QB career starts (30). His 27 wins tie for third among all FBS quarterbacks. Notre Dame is 29-7 (.806) against ACC opponents since the scheduling agreement began during the 2014 season, and including 2020 play as a conference member.

Why Bet on Boston College? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

BC (5-3) won 16-13 at Syracuse last Saturday. Phil Jurkovec completed 20-of-29 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown.  Seven different receivers caught a pass, led by Zay Flowers’ six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.  Travis Levy made four grabs for 33 yards, while Jehlani Galloway had three Jelani receptions for 29 yards. BC pounded the run, as David Bailey logged his fourth career 100-yard rushing game.  He carried the ball 25 times for 125 yards.  Levy made 17 rushes for 73 yards.

With 21 seconds to play, Syracuse found the end zone for the first time, trimming the Eagles’ lead to 16-13.  But the onside kick attempt by the Orange did not pan out and BC closed it out with a pair of rushes by Bailey, including a game-clinching first down.

Boston College recorded a total of 399 yards (191 rushing; 208 passing), including 20 first downs.  The Eagles were 10-of-19 on 3rd downs and held an advantage in time of possession (38:49 to 21:11). The BC defense allowed a season-low 52 yards rushing; the fewest since holding Louisville to 47 rushing yards on 32 carries in 2018. The Eagles surrendered just 240 yards of total offense; the lowest of the season and lowest overall and against an ACC opponent since holding Louisville to 217 yards in 2018.

For this one, BC is 31-115-1 all-time versus ranked opponents, including a 4-11 mark against ranked Irish squads. Boston College is 2-32 all-time against teams ranked in the top five, including an 0-13 mark at home against opponents ranked within the top five.

Boston College has not defeated an opponent ranked in the top five since a 14-7 win at No. 4 Notre Dame on Nov. 2, 2002. A win Saturday vs. No. 2 Notre Dame would be against the highest-ranked opponent since a 41-39 win at No. 1 Notre Dame on Nov. 20, 1993.

Saturday’s game marks the first meeting for BC quarterback Jurkovec against his former team. Jurkovec transferred to BC in January after spending two seasons with the Irish. Jurkovec’s 2,083 yards over his first eight games are the most by any BC quarterback in school history.

Game Trends

  • Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
  • Fighting Irish are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
  • Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.
  • Eagles are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.

Expert Prediction

  • Notre Dame 27, Boston College 23

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