A couple of stats for the Eagles Saturday against Notre Dame looked good. They out-gained the Irish in passing 215-96, ran more plays 85-78, and gained more 1st downs 22-19. Notre Dame’s better stats, though, were greater both in number and in scale, culminating in a 49-20 runaway win over BC.
The Irish rushed for 515 yards, falling 1 yard short of the most ever allowed by the Eagles (Army 2012) and tying the same total allowed to Army in 1985. (The Army teams have had a history of marching through Eagle defenses over the years.) Total offense for ND was 611 yards.
BC had allowed 322 yards rushing in its first 2 games. The Irish ran for only 25 yards less than that total in the second half. Notre Dame ran for at least 35 yards 6 times, 3 of them for 60+ yards. In its first 2 games, the Eagles had allowed only one run longer than 29 yards.
“Our bell cow was defense,” BC coach Steve Addazio said in the Boston Globe. “And we don’t give up rushing yards like that. . . . We don’t do that, but we did.”
The game was actually competitive, score-wise, into the middle of the 3rd quarter. BC scored first on a 38-yard field goal by Colton Lichtenberg in the 1st quarter, who had another successful field goal from 41 yards in the 3rd quarter and who has not missed a field goal or point-after yet this season. Notre Dame scored 2 touchdowns in the first half, and the Eagles scored a touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Anthony Brown to WR Charlie Callinan. The teams went into halftime with ND up 14-10.
Lichtenberg’s 2nd field goal brought the score to a 1-point margin, 14-13. On 5 of their next 7 possessions, the Irish scored touchdowns. The only other BC score during the 2nd half was a 14-yard TD pass again from Brown to Callinan. It was a career high 7 receptions by Callinan for 2 touchdowns on the day.
Junior RB Jon Hilliman gained 122 yards on 22 carries, his 6th career 100-yard game. Freshman A.J. Dillon added another 60 rushing yards on 16 carries. QB Brown was 22-40 for 2 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions.
The Eagles fall to 1-2 and return to conference play Saturday against, ahem, #2 Clemson, which took care of Louisville at Louisville, 47-21, yesterday. Kickoff is again at 12:30 pm PT.