2020 Game #8 Boston College Eagles
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
HERE COME THE IRISH!
Okay, listen up. How many times in the past week after the Irish defeated #1 ranked Clemson have you read about what happened to the Irish in 1993 after beating the #1 Florida State Seminoles to move to the top of the College Football World. One week later David Gordon kicked a Boston College Field Goal to beat the Irish.
The parallel is obvious. Beat #1. Play Boston College next. Lose! History will repeat! Hogwash!!
So, you, too, are tired of listening to that continuing doomsday prediction that is certain NOT to leave Irish eyes smiling. I certainly am. But do read on.
And, how about those Irish “fans” who “Pyne” for Phil Jurkovic as the Irish Quarterback. Phil, of course, was a high 4-star recruit to Notre Dame who entered the transfer portal following the 2019 season and emerged from the transfer portal soaring as a Boston College Eagle. He has led the Eagles to a 5-3 record in his first year, and has some impressive statistics. He is good and will get better. But, the unfortunate reality is only one Quarterback plays at a time and the ND coaches, who unlike the fan base, coach with their livelihood on the line, identified Ian Book as the #1. There is no place for a “revenge” factor or a “I will show them I should have been the man” factor. I do not suspect that factor even exists, and if it does exist, it is anathema to a football team. The old cliché applies, “there is no “I” in “team”.
These top-rated football players want to play. Phil saw that was not likely to happen in 2020 at ND and he became the 6th of the top 11 rated Quarterbacks in his class to transfer.
Oh, and by the way, that 5-3 record is 3 losses for Phil’s Eagles in 1 year, and if I am not mistaken, that is 1 loss per year in 3 years for Book. But, who’s counting.
So get over it. 2020 is not 1993 and the winner will be the better team, not the better QB.
Fifty-one years ago we heard “The Eagle Has Landed!” The dream of a nation, indeed, of a world had been realized.
The Irish take their 7-0 record to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 2020 Game #8 against the Boston College Eagles. Kickoff will be at Alumni Field in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Not quite the iconic setting of Fenway Park where this game was played in 2015, yet still a potential “Field of Dreams” for the Eagles. And, you may recall, that 2015 version of this rivalry saw the then 4th ranked Irish eke out a 19-16 victory over the Eagles despite 5, count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Irish turnovers.
At the risk of overreaching re-gurgitation, it was a “bad dream”, indeed an Irish “nightmare” visited on the Irish by the Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium in 1993 one week following the Irish win over the Florida State Seminoles boosting the Irish to #1 in the polls.
That Eagles team was coached by Tom Coughlin who later coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots (evidencing no “hometown” affiliation in doing so). The Quarterback was Glenn Foley who graduated to a 6-year NFL career. The name to remember, or revile as revolting if you are an ND fan, is David Gordon, the diminutive, left-footed kicker who wore #14 that fateful day of November 19, 1993. Gordon was a walk-on kicker who had transferred to Boston College from Vermont (staying a Nor’easter) and who had missed a 40-yard game winner earlier against Northwestern.
While that kick may be the gut wrencher (even though not a “kick to the gut”), the first 3+ quarters are the reason the Irish lost. BC scored a touchdown with 11:00 minutes remaining to take a 38-17 lead. Only a phenomenal 3 touchdown finish got the Irish to its short-lived 39-38 lead with 1:09 remaining. But a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff and three Foley passes later, the 41- yard field goal split the uprights as time expired and a deafening silence descended on Notre Dame Stadium. The prayers of the Irish fans in the stands for a hard blowing Nor’easter (or even a 30 MPH gust of wind over Touchdown Jesus’ shoulder)had not been answered
If you have been counting, you will know I just used a little more than 250 words that I could have saved had I decided to let “this next picture be worth more than a 1,000 words”. So, whether you “read’em and weep” or “see’it and weep”, the result is the same, Notre Dame lost!
So, what about 2020? I want to be perfectly clear and do not want this statement to be a Blur as you read it. I have it on excellent authority (who got right to the point) that to foil the Eagles at Alumni Stadium will require the Irish D to parry the Eagles’ runs and passes, especially those post patterns that the Irish must reposte. And I quote that authority; “Beware the Eagles!!! They are TOUGH at home.”
Well as this writer oft relates in an emulation of Coach Holtz, the Irish opponents “also give scholarships”. Two deserving recipients are Max Richardson (#14) and Isaiah McDuffie (#55), linebackers who are among the ACC’s leading tacklers. Defensive lineman Marcus Valdez (#97) is among the nation’s leaders in Quarterback hurries. But, a hurry ain’t a sack, and the Eagles have not shown a knack to sack a Quarterback or to stop a rushing attack running back. Even if they stack their d-backs to shore-up the d-line’s lack of smack to wack the Irish running attack, Kyren Williams, who is no quack, will take no flak and just jack the attack like the Big Mack, track-like back he is!
But as the Eagles showed against Clemson, their best chance will be to outscore the Irish rather than holding the Irish scoring down. The powerful Irish running game, a strong Irish short passing game and a developing Irish “down the field” passing game will prove too much for the Eagle defense. So, the Eagle offense will have to outscore the Irish offense. Won’t happen even though they put 28 on Clemson in just the first half. And, of course it was the same 28 for both the first half and the second half. And fully 25% of that 28 was a more than 90-yard fumble return. And, even further, of course, another 25% of that 28 occurred after kicker, John Tessitore, shifted from a field goal attempt to an under the center QB position, barking off the signals and causing a Clemson d-lineman to jump offside, much to the delight of his Dad, Joe Tessitore, who was in the TV booth broadcasting the game.
Jurcovic has some weapons. Hunter Long (#80) is a big tight end at 6’ 5” and 253 lbs. And while he is good, he does not cause opponents to tremble like Tremble and he “may or” may not be like Mike. I think I am Wright about this. Phil can also spot his wide receiver with the post-penultimate, first letter, first name, Zay Flowers. Zay is one of the speediest players the Irish will face and, as just a sophomore, his career is just beginning to bloom.
Jurovic can also run, some. But so could Clemson QB D.J. Uiagelelei as he clearly demonstrated against BC. With a similar size and build they could be running clones. Perhaps that will be shown as DJ passed like a star against the Irish but ran like me and while Phil may pass some against the Irish, his running will be like me running, which is neither fast, shifty, strong, punishing, aggressive, or meaningful. In other words, nondescript. Bottom line, Phil will add little to the BC running corps. And BC does not have a Travis Etienne clone on its roster. The leading Eagle rusher is David Bailey whose 2020 output is down considerably from his 2019 output, although he did rush for 125 yards against Syracuse in his last game. Boston College really misses their workhorse, bell cow running back, AJ Dillon, who amassed nearly 4,400 rushing yards during his Eagle career before “taking his talents” to the League and the Green Bay Packers. Do not forget, however, for those who care, he amassed only 56 of those 4,400 rushing yards in the 2019 Irish-Eagles game.
If one were asked to identify where football games are won and lost, is not the correct answer “In the Trenches”? Yes, that is the correct answer and that is where the Irish will win the game in Chestnut Hill.
On 07/20/69 it was “The Eagle Has Landed!” Om 11/14/20 it will be “The Eagle Was Planted!” The Irish “dream” will continue, and a “sweet dream” it will be.
Who will be the Irish “stories” after this game? My ND “Picks to Click” are Kyle Hamilton, Isaiah Foskey, and Shayne Simon on the D. SS is now finally fulfilling the promise and expectations surrounding his recruitment. You are hearing it here first, or maybe not, but before his ND career ends, his play will be described as “Simonizing”.
And my ND “Picks to Click” on offense? For “crying out loud” Kyren, of course, but with ample flashes from a Tyree jet sweep, C’bo C’boin’, stretch passes to Davis and McKinley and somewhat ironic, Skowronek, Tremble causing the Eagles to shiver, Mayor causing the Eagles to tremble, . . . . . . . What have I just done? I am not yet finished and I have already listed 8 Irish players, but not the Quarterback who will set the record for most wins by a Notre Dame Quarterback!! When was the last time you could name that many offensive ND players to make plays in a single game? That, my friends, tells a lot. Skill. Athleticism. Depth. And what is even more telling? I did not even mention the offensive line which just may be the best position group on the team!!
Again, for those who fear “History will Repeat”? That is not only Hogwash, but also Bunk! Baloney! Hooey! Balderdash! Poppycock! and Horsefeathers! Just take your pick!
So I say “History will not repeat.” I repeat, “History will not repeat!” I say again, “History will not repeat!” Have you got it??
Final score: IRISH – 41
Boston College – 14
Your trivia for today. Only one Heisman Trophy has been awarded to a player on a team with a losing record. Can you name that player?
But as always, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“. . . . . . and our hearts forever, Love thee Notre Dame!”