Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (2-1 SU, 0-2 ATS), Week 5 College Football, 8:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, October 2, 2010, Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass. TV: ABC
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: ND -2.5/BC +2.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5
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Every year, early in the season, Notre Dame’s back is against the wall. It’s no different this year. The Fighting Irish, like it seems that they’ve done every year lately, have started the season with a 1-3 record and all of a sudden have to win this game at Boston College and must go on a winning streak to get back over .500 and in contention for a bowl game.
The Irish started the season with a 23-12 win at home over Purdue. The next week, it looked like they were possibly going to beat Michigan and improve to 2-0, but a late touchdown by Michigan gave the Wolverines a 28-24 victory. The disappointment continued the next week with a 34-31 overtime loss at Michigan State. The Irish could have easily been 3-0 but instead they were 1-2.
Last week, it all blew up in Notre Dame’s face. The Irish got dominated at home by Stanford, 37-14. Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist was 25-for-44 passing for 304 yards, a touchdown and an interception. WR Malcolm Floyd had eight receptions for 110 yards and Theo Riddick had seven catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. The Irish totaled just 61 rushing yards, led by Armando Allen’s 49 yards on 15 carries. Stanford ran for 166 yards and passed for 238 yards. The Irish picked off Stanford QB Andrew Luck twice and recovered a fumble while committing two turnovers of their own.
Boston College started its season 2-0 with home wins over Weber State and Kent State. But then the Eagles took a step up in competition and faced Virginia Tech, a team that was previously ranked in the top 10 but had really been struggling this season. The Eagles got shut out at home by Va Tech, 19-0. BC QB Dave Shinskie really struggled, going 11-for-25 passing for 130 yards and two interceptions. BC RB Montel Harris had a nice game with 19 carries for 111 yards. BC’s defense wasn’t too bad at all. The Eagles allowed 343 total yards of offense, 237 through the air and 106 on the ground. And the Eagles moved the ball well on the ground. But the turnovers were the difference. The Eagles turned the ball over three times and only forced one turnover by the Hokies.
Notre Dame is allowing 244 passing yards per game while BC is allowing 238.3 per game. BC is one of the best teams in college football against the run so far this season, allowing 71.3 yards per game. Notre Dame is allowing 189.8 rush yards per game. Look for Harris to have a big game running the ball for the Eagles. If he is able to get loose, it will open things up for the Eagles offense and they should be able to put a good amount of points on the board. If BC’s run defense continues to excel, it will be up to Crist to carry the Notre Dame offense.
Notre Dame is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games as a favorite and 4-10 ATS in its last 14 non-conference games. But the Irish are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a road favorite and 20-9 ATS in their last 29 October games. BC is 4-1 ATS in its last five October games. The Eagles are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss, 0-4 ATS in their last four home games, and 0-7 ATS in their last seven games overall. The under is 8-1 in Notre Dame’s last nine games vs. the ACC and 5-1 in its last six games as a favorite. The under is 4-0 in BC’s last four games following an ATS loss and 10-1 in its last 11 non-conference games.
The under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these teams. In the last seven meetings between these teams, the road team is 5-2 ATS and the underdog is 6-1 ATS.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect BC to squeek out a straight up win here.