In all likelihood, Saturday night (8 p.m., ABC) will be a rough time to be a Boston College football fan.
Fourth ranked Notre Dame (9-0) comes to Alumni Stadium as a legitimate BCS title contender this season, riding a three-game win streak against BC (Irish lead the all-time series 12-9). Things couldn’t be more different for BC (2-7) as the Fighting Irish are expected (Vegas lists them as a 19-point favorite) to thrash the Eagles - one of the worst teams in any of the BCS conferences. Barring a miraculous upset, the national spotlight probably won’t be too kind to Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani, who should be fired a few days after this miserable campaign ends in a few weeks.
Here are three reasons that Boston College can at least make Notre Dame sweat a little before they go back to South Bend with a perfect 10-0 record.
Deflecting the pressure
Absolutely no one thinks that the Eagles can hang with Notre Dame, let alone beat them so that means all the pressure rests on the Fighting Irish, who are enjoying their best season in at least six years. As we saw last week against Pittsburgh (when it took the Irish three overtimes to win, 29-26), Notre Dame is not a superhuman team like Alabama or Oregon. Its margin for error is smaller than you’d expect and it’s college football where anything can happen.
History could repeat itself, by that I mean that BC knocked off a similarly unbeaten Notre Dame teams in 1993 and 2002 (both on the road no less). Obviously, those results have nothing to do with Saturday but as in any good rivalry, the Holy War is always intense and you can’t underestimate the motivation of a team looking for one signature win. Needless to say, it would be much harder to get rid of Spaziani if he somehow won this game.
Get to Golson
Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Everett Golson is talented but he can be erratic at times. Boston College’s best hope is that it forces a couple turnovers against him and maybe gets some big plays in special teams since I don’t think their offense will be able to do anything against Notre Dame’s SEC-caliber defense.