Catholic Rivalry Weekend: BC vs. Holy Cross and Notre Dame


Holy War/CrusadesIf you’re a BC fan who is into the old-time traditional rivalries, have I got a weekend for you.

Between Friday and Saturday, Boston College will play three games in three different major sports against Worcester rival Holy Cross and Indiana rival Notre Dame. In my generation of Boston College alumni, the Crusader factor is a little less meaningful (but perhaps more for me personally, as my older brother went to Holy Cross). The Fighting Irish angle, however, is. Whatever the case, the Eagles will be looking for wins.

Friday Men’s Basketball: Boston College at Holy Cross

The 1-0 new-look Eagles head out of Conte Forum for the first time this season and take the MassPike out to Worcester. Their opponent will be the Holy Cross Crusaders of the Patriot League, but the game will not be played at the Hart Center – more like the DCU Center in downtown Worcester.

There is no reason to pay much attention to last year’s contest against Holy Cross, since the Eagles are almost completely different in terms of composition, but BC won 69-54. The last time BC lost to the Cross was December 1, 2002, when they fell by a single point.

The Crusaders have played two games before this meeting, but have lost both. On November 11, they lost to College of Charleston on the road, 78-69. In their home opener against Harvard, they fell, 73-64. Holy Cross was outrebounded by both teams and have committed an outrageous 39 combined turnovers (18 against CofC, 21 against Harvard). They did put on a little bit of a block party against the Crimson, however, as 6-9 forward Dave Dudzinski picked up four blocks to go with his eight boards.

In the first two games, Holy Cross has appeared to commit a lot of fouls, but it is unclear if all of this is for overaggressive play or some of it had to do with fouling late because they were losing.

Boston College, on the other hand, didn’t light the world on fire against New Hampshire but they did enough to win. Lesser-conference teams are going to struggle to keep up with guys like Patrick Heckmann if he’s on his game, but the Eagles will also need contributions from guys like Matt Humphrey in particular, as well as Dennis Clifford and Ryan Anderson (who had respectable efforts for the most part on Monday).

With a freshman team like this, you never know what to expect on a night-by-night basis. BC can find a way to lose any game, or they can play closer to their potential and wow you. That said, I believe, much like against UNH, that BC is the better team and should be able to win here. There will be no television coverage for this 7:30pm game; there will be an audio feed available through Holy Cross Athletics’ website.


Friday Men’s Hockey: Boston College at Notre Dame

As is the tradition, Boston College and Notre Dame will play hockey the night before their football tilt. This will be the third year in a row that these two teams have met at Notre Dame, and the Eagles have split the previous two meetings. Last year, while BC was #1 in the nation, they fell in a close contest to the Irish, while they were victorious in 2009.

Lately, the Eagles, who have fallen from their recent #1 to #3 in the nation, have lost two of their last three games. Their last contest, a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Boston University, was hands-down the worst game BC hockey has played since the loss to Colorado College. Notre Dame, on the other hand, is right behind the Eagles at #4 and have won three straight. Their most recent game was a 3-2 win over Western Michigan.

The Irish are 5-1 on their home ice so far this season, and this will be a difficult game for the Eagles to win. Remember, though: with Jerry York on the bench, no task is too big. The game is at 7:30pm and will air on CBS Sports Network (DTV 613).


Saturday Football: Boston College at Notre Dame

The 3-7 Eagles are on their way out to South Bend to take on the 7-3 Fighting Irish. We’ve been talking about this game all week and suffice it to say BC’s odds aren’t very good. Tomorrow, we tie a bow on the previews and make the pick.

The game will be on NBC at 4pm.

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