NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 15 Notre Dame attempts to finish undefeated at home for the second straight season when it hosts Boston College on Saturday. The Fighting Irish have bounced back from an ugly loss at Michigan late last month by winning three straight - the last two by a combined score of 90-27.
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Notre Dame -19
They forced four turnovers and received four touchdown passes from Ian Book to Chase Claypool in last week's 52-20 rout of No. 21 Navy at home. "Our players take great pride in protecting their house," coach Brian Kelly told reporters this week of his team looking to improve to 7-0 at Notre Dame Stadium. "It's been a source of pride during summer workouts. It's certainly been a goal of ours." The Eagles need a win either this Saturday or next at Pittsburgh to gain bowl eligibility for the sixth time in seven seasons under coach Steve Addazio. They were off last week following a 38-31 loss to Florida State at home.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (5-5)
The Eagles piled up 508 total yards in the loss to the Seminoles and received another big performance from star running back AJ Dillon, who had career highs in carries (40) and receptions (three) while totaling 190 yards. Sophomore quarterback Dennis Grosel had his best outing since taking over for the injured Anthony Brown, completing 20-of-29 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns while running for one score. His top target is tight end Hunter Long, who ranks second in the ACC among players at his position with 411 receiving yards.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (8-2)
Book threw five TDs overall in the rout of Navy and needs four more to move into fourth place alone on the school’s all-time list, while Claypool tied the program’s single-game record with his four receiving scores. “The chemistry with Ian has definitely helped a lot,” Claypool told reporters after last week’s win. “I think trust is a big thing. I think he truly trusts me now. Not that he didn’t before, but he knows exactly where to put the ball. He’s throwing the ball up and giving me a chance to make a play.” Junior Tony Jones Jr. leads the team with 611 yards on the ground, but he has just 54 total on 24 carries over his last three games.
1. Grosel has completed 28-of-39 passes over his last two games after going 21-of-60 through his first seven appearances.
2. The Irish's home winning streak (17) is the third longest in school history behind a 28-game run from 1942-50 and a 19-game stretch from 1987-90.
3. Notre Dame won the last six matchups after Boston College claimed the previous six.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 42, Boston College 21