Five keys to the Notre Dame-Boston College game

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune


Notre Dame has to always know where No. 7 is lining up on Boston College’s defense. Harold Landry, a senior defensive end, set a school record with 16.5 sacks last season. Landry could be the first pass rusher selected in next year’s NFL Draft. Last week, the Irish offensive line allowed three sacks and seven quarterback hurries. Allowing Landry to routinely disrupt Brandon Wimbush gives Boston College a chance to keep the Irish offense in check.


Boston College has a knack of keeping the score close in ugly games against Notre Dame. The Irish have won the last five matchups, but only two of those victories came by more than four points. Scoring early increases the likelihood of blowing out Boston College. The struggling offense for the Eagles shouldn’t be able to keep up with the Irish playmakers if they’re on their game.


Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown has shown to be generous in his first two starts for the Eagles. The redshirt freshman already has thrown four interceptions and has completed only 52 percent of his passes. The Irish should look to take advantage of his accuracy issues and force him into making poor throws. Rover Drue Tranquill recorded Notre Dame’s lone interception of the season last week against Georgia.


There has to be plenty of frustration festering on Notre Dame’s offensive line and in the backfield. Boston College’s defense won’t be a pushover, but if the Irish offense is going to prove last week was a fluke, it has to physically overwhelm the Eagles. Unlike Georgia, Boston College won’t be able to easily counter the Irish with speed. Notre Dame should be able to at least triple last week’s output of 55 rushing yards, given the talent difference.


Notre Dame needs its stars to shine on offense, but the Irish could use some sparks from rotation players who have struggled to receive consistent work in the first two games. In order to find long-term success, the Irish have to expand the offense beyond wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, running back Josh Adams and Wimbush. Will Saturday be a chance for breakout games for guys like running back Dexter Williams and wide receivers Chris Finke and Chase Claypool? It all starts with opportunity.

Notre Dame’s Robert Hainsey (72), Quenton Nelson (56), Alex Bars (71), and Sam Mustipher (53) look down at Brandon Wimbush (7) after he was tackled during the Georgia game at Notre Dame Stadium (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)