Notebook: Notre Dame's C.J. Prosise leaves game after milestone

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

BOSTON — C.J. Prosise finally got his chance to gallop into history.

Against the nation’s No. 1 rush defense, no less.

But not long after the senior and converted wide receiver nudged his way into the Notre Dame record books Saturday night with the 18th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history, Prosise ran into uncertainty.

Again.

For the second time in the past three games, ND’s leading rusher had to leave the game early — exiting CFP No. 4 and AP fifth-ranked Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series matchup with Boston College in the first half and gingerly heading to the Irish locker room late in the second quarter.

ND head coach Brian Kelly said after the game that Prosise suffered a high ankle sprain.

Prosise sat out Notre Dame’s 28-7 win over Wake Forest on Nov. 14 in its entirety while waiting to be cleared for a concussion he suffered against Pitt the week before.

Prosise had amassed 54 yards on nine carries at the time of his departure, giving him 1,029 on 157 carries in his first season at the running back position.

His milestone run actually came on carry No. 150. That’s the second-fewest carries an ND back has required to reach the 1,000-yard mark. The fewest was Reggie Brooks with 120 in 1992. Lee Becton slides to third in that distinction with 162 to get to 1,000.

Prosise also had a reception for 17 yards, but he fumbled twice — one recovered by teammate Nick Martin, one that became one of Notre Dame’s four first-half turnovers.

Freshman Josh Adams began rotating with Prosise before the injury, but labored early against BC in the first half after putting up two of the four most-prolific rushing performances ever by an Irish freshman (147 vs. Pitt, 141 vs. Wake) the past two weeks.

Adams ended the half with one net yard on five carries and fumbled on a third-and-goal play from the BC 1. He lost two yards on the play, then lost the football to Eagles linebacker Matt Milano.

Coming into the game, ND running backs had lost just 13 fumbles in Kelly’s six seasons, covering 1,995 carries.

Heading into Saturday night’s game, Kelly had high hopes for being able to use a running back tag team in the final stretch of ND’s regular season.

“I think more than anything else, the game turns to be more of a physical nature and you have to rely on a running game, certainly in November,” he said. “Just balancing the load and having two guys you can count on is very, very important.”

What’s next for Fenway?

How about a Boston Celtics game? The Boston Globe reported this week that Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy is making a pitch to host the city’s NBA franchise sometime down the road.

In the meantime, while the football setup is in place, Fenway will be the site of four high school football games next week.

By the numbers

Notre Dame has now outscored its opponents, 116-43, in the first quarter of games this year, its highest-scoring and most lopsided quarter of the season.

• Junior safety Max Redfield recorded his first career sack in the first half.

• Notre Dame came into the game 8-0-2 all-time when playing a neutral site game within 30 miles of an opponent's home stadium.

Squibs

The late parents of Boston College legend Doug Flutie were honored with a moment of silence before the game. Dick and Joan Flutie each died of a heart attack within an hour of each other on Wednesday in Florida, according to the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Flutie elected to stay in his role as color analyst for NBC for the game.

• Former Notre Dame defensive back Leo Ferrine is a recruiting specialist on the Boston College staff.

• Boston College, located just four miles from Fenway — the closest to an opponent’s campus the Irish have ever played in their 176 neutral-site games — reportedly received 5,400 of the 38,686 tickets sold for Saturday night’s game.

• Being at Fenway stirred up thoughts of former Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski, who attended Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship for five semesters before signing with the Red Sox.

• The Shamrock Series, with game No. 8 next season, will make its first encore appearance in 2016. The Irish face Army in San Antonio, Texas. ND played Washington State there in the first Shamrock Series game, in 2009.

Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise (20) leaves the field with an injury during the first half of the Notre Dame-Boston College NCAA football game on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, inside Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN