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The Anti-Preview: #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Boston College Eagles

The worst eagles.

Navy v Notre Dame Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Hello friends and welcome to your last home Anti-Preview for the 2019 season. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Boston College Eagles on Senior Day — and it ain’t 1993 anymore.

Anti-Preview The wonderful @phillykelly

The Irish at 8-2 are ranked #16 by the playoff committee and are all but destined to play in the Camping World Bowl against some Big 12 team. Even if the Irish finish out 10-2 for the regular season, a path to a New Years 6 game is probably not going to happen.

So, as far as goals for the season are concerned, the Irish will attempt to extend their home winning streak to 18. Notre Dame hasn’t lost at home since the early September game against the Georgia Bulldogs in 2017. It would also extend their streak of wins over unranked teams (the Irish haven’t lost to an unranked team since 2016 — the second longest streak in the country behind the Alabama Crimson Tide).

So let’s get to that unranked opponent...

Boston College Eagles

At 5-5, BC is sill in the hunt for a bowl bid — which is all that program really cares about. They run the ball extremely well with a physical offensive line and an incredible running back tandem with A.J. Dillon and David Bailey. The two backs have combined for over 2200 yards and 20 touchdowns and has helped place BC as the 5th best rushing team in the country.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Boston College at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

And then there’s the passing game — yeah they’re not good. Their passing defense is also terrible.

More important than Boston College’s suck level, is that there are two rivalry traveling trophies on the line.

This is the only rivalry game in existence, that I have heard of, that contains two trophies to the winner. One of those is called The Ireland Trophy. It was created by the Notre Dame Student Government as a sign of goodwill and sportsmanship (It isn’t really recognized by the Football program). The second is called The Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl.

This second trophy gives this game one of its unofficial names- The Leahy Bowl. (The game is also known as “The Holy War”, “The Vatican Bowl”, & the “Jesuit Invitational”) The Leahy Memorial Bowl is named as such after legendary Notre Dame and Boston College coach Frank Leahy. Frank coached Boston College during the 1939 and 1940 seasons leading the Jesuits to a 20-2 record before getting the call to come back to his alma mater, Notre Dame.

The all-time series is in Notre Dame’s favor at 15-9 after the Irish have struggled with it’s annoying cousin for most of the 2000’s. Notre Dame is currently on a 6 game winning streak — which comes right after BC’s own 6 game winning streak (yuck). Now that Boston College is a member of the ACC, Notre Dame won’t play them annually, but the series won’t die.

What should you be eating and drinking?

This week’s selection is a HOT FIRE combination brought forward by Brad Wechter on the OFD Podcast. Brad gave a passionate tale of a bar called The Boiler Room somewhere around Chicago.

PB & J

The simplicity of it all is what makes this the perfect combination for Senior Day — a day that is anything but simple.

When you order a PB & J you receive a tall boy of God’s finest elixer, Pabst Blue Ribbon as well as a shot of Jameson. It’s hard to make this a boilermaker if you’re drinking from the can, so just take your shot and chug your PBR.

This also includes a slice of pizza. Now, considering the vast difference in pizza across the country, I thought something truly special would work best. Home Run Inn is the best frozen pizza in the universe, and I will not accept any challenge to this claim.

What should you be wearing?

I guess this week is all about 1988 and shiny gold pants. I want nothing to do with it, so you’re stuck with this:


3 reasons to hate Boston College

It’s an easy list this week.

  1. Tom Coughlin
  2. David Gordon
  3. Glenn Foley

That’s it. That’s the list.

Keys to the game

Quite simply, the Irish have to shut out all of the noise and the ritual of senior day. They did that pretty well last year in a similar circumstance with the Florida State Seminoles. The Irish beat the Noles 42-13 in a convincing beatdown. The Irish just need to keep doing what has been working over the last few weeks. Ian Book’s efficiency in getting the ball to Chase Claypool, Chris Finke, and Cole Kmet will determine how many points the Irish score on Saturday. The defense has to hold up against a strong running game that is much different than Navy’s was last week. The interior defensive line has to be strong at the point of attack and allow Drew White, Asmar Bilal, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to make plays near the line of scrimmage.


At the end of the day...

I firmly believe the Notre Dame offense remains on its upward trajectory with its efficiency — even if the running game is still somewhat anemic. Notre Dame’s receiving weapons are getting better and better, and besides Chase Claypool, I expect a big day from Braden Lenzy. I think the Irish defense will do enough to slow down the running game, and once they get a good lead, BC will be forced to throw the ball — and that’s where Kyle Hamilton will end up making the story of the day with multiple picks and maybe even a touchdown. I offer zero respect with a prediction of Notre Dame 52, Boston College 17.

Brendan McAlinden