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Notre Dame Football: Brian Kelly kicks off another rivalry week with some Boston College thoughts, injury updates and discusses Senior Day

Brian Kelly is now 8-2 at Notre Dame against Navy during his tenure and 8-2 with this year’s Irish. Up next: the battle for the Ireland Trophy against a perennial thorn in the side of the Irish over the years with their NY6 hopes still alive.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Louisville
Brian Kelly clinched his seventh eight-plus-win season at Notre Dame after the Irish throttled Navy this past Saturday to extend their home winning streak to 18 games.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had relatively no issues in their 52-20 beatdown of Navy to clinch the seventh eight-win season for Brian Kelly during his tenure with two games still to play this season.

The Irish move from one thorn in their side in recent memory in the Midshipmen to another that’s haunted them throughout the last 30 years.

1993. 2002. Six straight losses to them from 2001-2009.

The name “David Gordon” sends shivers down a lot of Notre Dame football fans still to this day.

Notre Dame’s undefeated home slate and their shot at a New Year’s Six bowl this season ride on Saturday afternoon when the Boston College Eagles come to town for the Irish’s “Senior Day” game.

Despite the ghosts of the past still haunting many to the present-day, Notre Dame has won the last six meetings against the Eagles by a combined score of 156-85, including a 49-20 rout back in September 2017 on the road.

To open BC Week for the Irish, head coach (and Boston area native) Brian Kelly held his weekly pre-game press conference with reporters and discussed the Eagles, specifically their star feature back, injury updates, thoughts on “Senior Day”, Ian Book and more on Monday.

It’s not a Monday Brian Kelly Press Conference until he mentions the team the Irish are playing is coming off a bye week

To be fair to Kelly, seven straight weeks (!) of a team having a week off before playing the Irish is some insane bad luck on the schedule.

AJ Dillon gets another shot at the Irish

In that 49-20 rout from the Irish against BC two years ago, Eagles running back AJ Dillon was only a freshman by Jon Hilliman and didn’t have a day that he’s become accustomed to having during his (almost) three seasons.

Dillon had 16 carries for just 58 yards in the 29-point loss, but since that defeat, he’s become one of college football’s most consistent players at the running back position.

This season, only Oklahoma State’s Chubba Hubbard (1,726 yards) and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor (1,463 yards) have more yards on the ground than Dillon’s total of 1,451 on 272 total carries. That’s a 5.3 yard-per-carry clip, which is partly why Kelly recruited Dillon to Notre Dame before he committed to BC.

Injury updates

While it was rather good news for Irish defensive tackle Jayson Ademiola and his sprained ankle, the same couldn’t be said for linebacker Shayne Simon, who is officially done for the year after suffering what appears to be a torn patella tendon. Kelly didn’t note the tendon specifically on Monday, but said “it’s a fair significant injury.”

Also, any potential worries about Kyle Hamilton evaporated on Monday, too.

The same can be said for Braden Lenzy.

Javon McKinley on the other hand, we’ll probably have to wait until later this week to find out if he’ll be suiting up again for the Irish.

He’s not hurt again, which is awesome, but Kelly was asked about Shaun Crawford, who has basically become Robocop during his time in South Bend due to some unfortunate injury luck.

It’s basically another day at the office this weekend

Don’t expect Brian Kelly to shed too many tears about this upcoming Senior Day matchup for the Irish with their 18-game home winning streak on the line against BC.

Ian Book is ... back?

Ian Book, as many Notre Dame quarterbacks have been before him, has been criticized throughout the season (and rightfully so in some cases), but the signal-caller has seemed to find a groove in the last few weeks.

Since the Michigan debacle, Book has completed 61-of-105 (58.1%) passes for 806 yards and 11 touchdowns. Despite being around his season-long completion percentage of 58.8 percent and the four interceptions in those three wins, Book has contributed in a huge way on the ground, opening up a rather disappointing Irish rushing attack to the tune of 30 carries for 220 yards and a touchdown.

Speaking of quarterbacks (who has actually seen a decent amount of time in recent weeks) ...

Brian Kelly is Notre Dame through and through

Kelly, who was born in the Boston area in Everett, Mass., was asked about the signficance of the Boston College matchup and what it meant to him as a Massachusetts native growing up.

To the surprise of virtually no one, his youth days included a lot of Notre Dame football in the Boston area.

19 in a row?

The Irish haven’t lost at home since September 2017 when Georgia came to town and took over Notre Dame Stadium in the crowd and on the field late in a barnburner finish, meaning they’ve won 18 straight home games. Clemson holds the longest home win streak in the current day at 26 games, but the Irish aren’t too far off from that mark.

If you want to watch Kelly’s press conference in its entirety from Monday, you can watch the video below: