Boston College Looks to Rebound as it Renews its Rivalry with Notre Dame

Written by Brett Korpi
​In last week’s home opener against Wake Forest, Boston College was their own worst enemy. The Eagles turned the ball over four times. The Demon Deacons took advantage of those miscues scoring three times off turnovers on their way to a 34-10 victory.

Now, BC looks to clean up their sloppy play and move on, as they host one of their biggest historical rivals, Notre Dame (1-1), on Saturday. The Fighting Irish are also coming off a loss after being defeated at home by No. 15 Georgia 20-19.

The Eagles and Irish will meet for the 24th time since their rivalry began in 1975. Notre Dame leads the series 14-9, and have won the last five games dating back to 2009.

Though the game does not have the same prestige it once carried during its heyday in the 90’s, it is still circled by even the most casual fans when it comes up on the schedule due to Notre Dame’s national prominence and the strong Irish-Catholic population in Boston.

During the height of the rivalry, the two Jesuit schools met every season from 1992-2004. It’s most memorable moment came in 1993. Then No.12 Boston College traveled to South Bend to take on the No.1 ranked Irish, who were undefeated at the time and on a 17-game winning streak.

Boston College was an 18-point underdog. However, the Eagles had a high-powered offense and the Irish had a hard time stopping them that afternoon. BC had a commanding 38-17 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Irish would mount a wild comeback taking a 39-38 lead with about a minute to play. The Eagles with very little time were able to mount a drive, that was aided by some Irish penalties, that would give them a chance to win the game.

With time expiring, then BC coach Tom Coughlin would call on his kicker, David Gordon, to attempt a career long 41-yard field goal to win the game. Gordon would get ahold of it and the ball would seem to hook out before it hooked back in to end Notre Dame’s national championship hopes. The victory is one of the signature moments in BC football history, right behind “Hail Flutie.”

In the 2000’s the Eagles would be the dominant team in the rivalry winning six straight from 2001-2008.

Notre Dame’s latest run in the rivalry has come during a down period for the Eagles. However, the games have still been competitive. In the last installment, in 2015, BC and the Irish met at Boston’s historic Fenway Park for a Notre Dame “home” game.

The Eagles were in the midst of a 3-9 season and a carousel at quarterback. Despite their offensive struggles, BC boasted one of the nation’s top defenses. The Irish entered the game ranked fourth in the country and had CFP aspirations.

BC’s defense gave Notre Dame all it could handle. But, it wasn’t enough as the Irish escaped with a 17-14 victory.

At the time the Eagles offense was young and had virtually no quarterback due to injuries. But, as mention boasted a strong defense. This year the offense is young at some key spots once again. But, they are hoping they have their future at quarterback in Anthony Brown.

Brown, struggled mightily in the loss to Wake Forest. The redshirt-freshman threw three-interceptions, including a pick-six, before being taken out of the game in the fourth quarter.

“It wasn’t pleasant,” Brown said of the loss to Wake, “But, now I just have to learn from it, learn from my mistakes.”

The Eagles will need Brown to learn quick. The offense will need to perform much better against a Notre Dame team that lost a close battle to a ranked opponent last week. And, will be looking to make a statement against a rival.

Head coach Steve Addazio can tell the Eagles are excited to redeem their performance from last week and take it out on the Irish.

“There is a buzz, because yes, it is Notre Dame.” An animated Adazzio said of his locker room.

“But, there is also a buzz, because our team is not happy. They are not happy about what happened. How do you put that to bed? You have a great week of practice and your charge your opponent. And, we are going to charge (Notre Dame).”

Boston College will look to charge Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, September 16th, at Alumni Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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