Hope sprung eternal on Boston College’s campus, until Saturday night’s football game began.
When it was played, the #4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Boston College Eagles, 21-6. BC has now lost all four games to Notre Dame under head coach Frank Spaziani and falls to 2-8 on the season, matching last season’s loss total with two games remaining. For the weekend, with Eagles hockey winning on Friday night, BC split their two games against Notre Dame on Holy War Weekend.
In what turned out to be an expected low-scoring, slow-paced game, neither team scored more than a touchdown in any individual quarter. Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first with a 95-yard drive in the first quarter which gave them a 7-0 lead. Boston College eventually answered with a field goal to start the second quarter, but the Irish then scored two more unanswered touchdowns: on an 87-yard drive with 26 seconds to go in the first half, and on a 65-yard drive to open the third quarter. At this point, the contest was 21-3, but the Eagles added a Nate Freese season-long field goal with 13:44 remaining for the final 21-6 margin.
On the surface, it would appear that Boston College’s defense did an alright job in holding Notre Dame to 21 points, but the underlying numbers speak to a shaky performance. The Irish amassed just short of 400 yards and ran for 184, but the most telling statistic was Notre Dame going 11-for-14 on third down conversions, making their first ten in a row. Aside from two forced fumbles, the Eagles once more had a great deal of trouble getting off the field, and the tackling was highly suspect again.
At times, the Boston College offensive line appeared to give quarterback Chase Rettig plenty of time, but on the other hand, he was sacked five times. Furthermore, the running game was again ineffective, coming up with a net of only 53 yards. Rolandan Finch returned from his exile with seven carries for 40 yards.
The story, if any, during this exceptionally boring football game was Alex Amidon, who broke the Boston College single-season receiving record. It was previously set by Brian Brennan during the 1983 season; Amidon currently has 1,158 yards and is far and away the team leader.
This was another contest where it never truly felt like the Eagles were in the game, though the scoreboard said they were. It is a recurring theme for Boston College, who are lately struggling to score points (the Eagles have been held to 20 or fewer points for five consecutive games). They could not get into an offensive rhythm, and the defense repeatedly breaking down on third down did not help get them back out on the field. Notre Dame did not play a thoroughly dominant game, but the Eagles could not get out of their own way and did not present themselves as a serious challenge.
“It could have been worse” is not a point of pride for this football team, because it should have been better. The entire season should have been better, but it wasn’t. Excuses have long since run out for the coaching staff, who will almost certainly be participating in their final home game next week against a below-average Virginia Tech team.