A pair of traditional rivals looking to bounce back from difficult losses meet Saturday when Notre Dame pays a visit to Boston College. The Fighting Irish allowed a late field goal and then fumbled away their final drive in a 20-19 loss to then-No. 15 Georgia at home last week, putting forth a sloppy effort that included eight penalties, two turnovers and a 3-for-17 mark on third-down conversions.
“We’re learning,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters. “Our QB is learning the tools of trade. He’s getting different looks and reads. I thought he learned a lot tonight.” Kelly was referring to junior Brandon Wimbush, who completed less than half his passes and gained one yard on the ground against Georgia after running for 106 in a season-opening rout of Temple. The Eagles are sticking with freshman Anthony Brown at quarterback after he was pulled in the third quarter of last Saturday’s 34-10 loss to Wake Forest. The Fighting Irish have won five straight meetings and took the previous encounter in 2015 by a 19-16 margin in a game that was played at Fenway Park.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Notre Dame -13.5
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (1-1): Wimbush and the group of running backs led by Josh Adams were limited to 55 yards on 37 carries against Georgia, with 21 of the team’s rushing attempts going for two or fewer yards. Adams still has 214 yards through the first two games while Dexter Williams has gained 124 on only six carries. Senior linebacker Nyles Morgan leads the defense with 15 tackles, 2 1/2 tackles for a loss and one sack.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (1-1): Brown followed up a solid debut in a win at Northern Illinois with an 11-for-29 showing and three interceptions against the Demon Deacons, but some felt the numbers were not representative of his performance. “He’s our quarterback and I‘m looking forward for him to get going,” coach Steve Addazio told reporters. “You go back and you watch the film, and Anthony went to the right place with that ball a lot. And he’s a young guy. We’ve got to help him a little bit.” The Eagles had more first downs than Wake Forest and they were outgained by only four yards, but Addazio’s team committed all four of the game’s turnovers.
1. Eagles’ leading rusher Thadd Smith (101 yards) is averaging 9.2 yards per carry.
2. The Fighting Irish are in the early portions of a stretch in which they will play one home game in 41 days.
3. Notre Dame has produced points in all nine of its red-zone trips.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 27, Boston College 17