Since a 1992, 54-7 home blowout by the #8 Irish over the #9 Eagles knocked BC out of an unlikely national title hunt, the program from Chestnut Hill has had great success vs. Notre Dame, including a 5-3 record in South Bend. Below are a few Irish items of note as well as some sobering statistics regarding this intermittently one-sided rivalry.
1 – Point-spreads covered by the favored team in the series’ last eight contests. In 2000, the No. #11 Irish were favored by 9 points over Boston College and defeated the Eagles in South Bend, 28-16. The game marks Notre Dame’s most recent win over the Eagles in the House that Rockne Built.
2 – Teams ranked higher nationally in terms of red zone offense than is Boston College this season. The Eagles have scored on 24 of their 25 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line; 19 of those trips resulted in touchdowns.
3 – Notre Dame coaches that have lost to Boston College over the span of the series’ current 6-game streak. Bob Davie (2001); Tyrone Willingham (2002-04); and Charlie Weis (2007-08).
4 – Consecutive Boston College coaches to register at least one win over Notre Dame during his BC tenure. Tom Coughlin (1993); Dan Henning (1994); Tom O'Brien (1999, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04); and Jeff Jagodzinski (2007, ‘08)
5 – National ranking of Irish WR Golden Tate in receiving yards per game and the national ranking of QB Jimmy Clausen in passing yards per game. Tate has 41 receptions for 719 yards (and 6 touchdowns) while Clausen has completed 124-191 passes for 1,804 yards (and 14 TD) through six games.
6 – Consecutive games won in the series by Boston College. The Eagles dropped 8 of the first 10 contests in the series, including a pair of separate four-game streaks to the Irish in 1975, ‘83, ’87, and ’92 and then again in 1995-98. Since the series turned semi-annual in 1992, Boston College holds a 9-6 advantage over the Irish. BC has won three straight (2002, 2004, and 2007) in South Bend.
7 – Plays from scrimmage by WR Golden Tate in excess of 30 yards this season. Tate has caught passes for 77 and 67 (Washington); 54 and 33 (MSU); 45 (USC); and 36 (Nevada), and rushed once for 31 yards (Washington) through six games. The junior has three additional receptions of 21 yards or greater (27 and 21 at Michigan and 22 vs. Washington).
8 – Touchdown passes in excess of 20 yards by Jimmy Clausen this season (88, 70, 67, 45, 33, 24, 22, 21).
9 – Matchups between the teams that have been decided by seven points or fewer. BC has won 6 of those 9 matchups, prevailing in 1993, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 while the Irish bested the Eagles in 1983, 1987, and 1998 (video below).
10 – Consecutive field goals made by freshman Nick Tausch. Tausch, who did not attempt a field goal last week vs. USC, missed his first attempt at Michigan prior to starting the streak, the longest at the school since John Carney hit 10 straight spanning the 1984-1985 seasons. The Notre Dame record for consecutive field goals made is held by former walk-on Mike Johnston, who drilled 13 consecutive in 1982. Of note, Johnston bounced back from his miss to hit the game-tying field goal vs. Oregon with 11 seconds remaining in the contest.
11 – Touchdowns thrown by Jimmy Clausen when the Irish are tied or trailing in a contest. Clausen has yet to throw an interception in that situation in 2009.
2 – National rank by the Boston College program this decade in defensive interceptions. BC has picked off 175 passes since the start of the 2000 season, second only to Virginia Tech’s 185 thefts. The Eagles tied for first in the nation (with national champion Florida) last season with 26 picks, four of which came vs. the Irish and then-sophomore quarterback Jimmy Clausen on November 8 in Chestnut Hill.
Bonus Stat: 86 – Total points scored by the Irish during the program’s six-game losing skid to the generally-sound, defensive-minded Eagles. BC has totaled 130 points over that span.
On the Horizon
Irish players that could reasonably accomplish statistical milestones Saturday vs. Boston College:
Golden Tate: With 17 career receiving touchdowns, Tate is one shy of Maurice Stovall (2002-05) for fifth on the school’s all-time list. Tate needs two receiving scores to move into a tie with Tom Gatewood (1969-71) for fourth place.
Likewise, with 184 receiving yards vs. the Eagles, the Irish junior can pass Jim Seymour (1966-68) and move into seventh place on the program’s all-time receiving yards list.
Raeshon McNeil: Needs one pass break-up to Mike Richardson (2002-2006) for 10th on the all-time list, or two break-ups to tie Dave Duerson (1979-1982) for ninth place. (McNeil has been credited with 14 break-ups in his Irish career). McNeil has yet to record a pass break-up in five contests this season.
Kyle McCarthy: The 5th-year senior captain needs 11 tackles to pass Deke Cooper (1997-99) for 6th on the school’s list of tackles by a defensive back. McCarthy is 13 tackles shy of tying Brian Magee (1992-95) for fifth place.
Speaking of tackles by a defensive back…
Deke Cooper: 1998