Instant Observations: No. 2 Notre Dame steamrolls Boston College, 45-31

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Quick hitters from Saturday's game between No. 2 Notre Dame and Boston College...

• Who's ready for a bye week? Probably everybody on that Delta charter flight back to South Bend from New England late Saturday.

• The Irish moved to 8-0; 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference. Oh, and first place in the ACC. Still can't get used to typing that. Or saying that.

• Who knew that Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec transferred from Notre Dame? Just kidding.

• The Jurkovec storyline was exhausted by the end of the first quarter. The conversations of the ABC broadcast crew and the camera shots ... sigh. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn't. It didn't. Nothing more to see or say.

• Who knew that Boston College beat Notre Dame in 1993 after the Irish beat then-No. 1 Florida State? Again, kidding.

• Holy War? Cringe-worthy to hear it, type it or even say it. In any context. It's just a game.

• The more you watch C'Bo Flemister run, the more you realize the first tackler isn't always going to bring him down. Flemister seeks contact and seems to get stronger after taking a hit.

• A Jordan Johnson sighting. That should calm the message board types for a few days. Yeah, true. It won't.

• Eliminate the fumbles and some of the penalties (late hit, personal, unsportsmanlike conduct) and this one really would've been out of hand.

• Irish running backs gotta be better with that ball security, especially as the weather gets colder and the stakes get higher.

• Avery Davis has been a receiving revelation this season for the Irish. Nobody saw him coming. Not like this. Same could be said for Javon McKinley.

• Irish wide receiver Ben Skowronek likes afternoon road games. He caught two touchdowns in the game at Pitt, three more in Saturday's first half.

• Notre Dame allowed Clemson all of 34 rushing yards the entire game the last time out. Boston College tallied 26 on its first drive, which ended in a Jurkovec touchdown pass. The Irish looked a little sluggish on that opening defensive effort, which also featured defensive end Isaiah Foskey dropping into pass coverage. Boston College surpassed 34 by its second drive — and that on a Jurkovec scramble.

• Everything about the Irish early looked like a team that had played a double-overtime game that ended close to midnight the previous week, and one that had its eye on an upcoming bye week. By halftime, everyone could breathe a little easier. The Irish were just better.

• Saturday's first half for the Irish offense felt whole lot like the first half of the home game last month against Florida State, where it could score every time it had the ball. The Irish hit for 35 points against the Seminoles, then had four touchdowns and a field goal for 31 points on their seven first-half drives.

• This game looked a little off in that Notre Dame wore its home blue uniforms on the road. Boston College wore special all-white uniforms in honor of Welles Crowther, a former Eagle lacrosse player and equities trader. Also a volunteer firefighter, Crowther was killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

• Notre Dame was without only one player — Jayson Ademilola — and that because of a knee injury. That means the Irish did not have anyone caught up in coronavirus issues stemming from the student storming the field after the victory over Clemson.

• Notre Dame has cornered the 3:30 p.m. road start market. Saturday was the third road game in the last four weeks — all of them 3:30 kicks. Sure beats the 8 p.m. start, which necessitates working until 3-4 in the morning. Notre Dame's next two road games — against North Carolina and Wake Forest — will start at 3:30 and noon, respectively.

• Saturday was the first time that Notre Dame has played a game during the pandemic with zero fans in the the stands. The smallest crowd was the 5,451 at Pittsburgh three weeks prior.

• Did we really need a wind advisory (and area map) at the bottom of the TV screen the whole game? The advisory wasn't supposed to go into effect until 1 a.m. Sunday — some five hours after the game ended.

Notre Dame wide receiver Ben Skowronek (11) is lifted by wide receiver Javon McKinley (88) after scoring one of his three first-half touchdowns Saturday against Boston College at Alumni Stadium.