It’s time to fire up yet another diary, this one from my buddy Reno’s house in DC. Today the opponent is the reviled Eagles of Boston College. Notre Dame fans look down at them as our annoying little brother, but as we all know they’ve certainly had our number as of late. Last time we beat them was in 2000, which as we covered in the pre-game hate ranks up there as one of the most embarrassing things we as ND fans have to come to grips with.
Let’s get started.
3:33 They’re showing the walk to the stadium and the players looked pissed. The general feeling around the team this week was that everyone was ticked off, not down in the dumps after their loss. I like to hear that, I want blood.
3:36 Just showed Jimmy’s stats for his two games against BC: 286yds, 0 TD’s, 6 INT’s. Pretty brutal.
3:37 Pat Haden just said that Harris ran for 161 yards out of the Wildcat last week against NC State. I’m legitimately nervous for how we handle it. We’re not quick to make adjustments on defense—look at the Michigan game for all necessary evidence—and we’ve never seen any opposing team run that formation. From the sounds of it (and from reading BC insider previews) they do it for a set number of times in the game early. If it works they pound away with it. If it doesn’t they put it on the shelf. Hopefully we can find a way to nip it in the bud.
3:41 Come back from commercial break with all the BC highlights of the past 16 years…the Gordon kick, the Dillingham handoff, the 2004 chokejob…I want to punch a hole in the wall. I want to win this game 77-0 and I want to score on a fake punt for the 11th touchdown. I forget how much I hate BC until it’s the week of the game.
3:43 Armando breaks a nice 11 yard run on first down and slips up. Great blocking. Armando gets another six on the next play. Offensive line looks like they’re rolling.
3:45 After another first down it’s our first penalty of the game, a hold on Trevor Robinson. When are we going to buck this terrible trend of sucking the life out of good drives with penalties?
3:47 Jimmy Clausen completes a LASER BEAM on 3rd and 13 to Golden Tate as he rolled to his left and threw across his body. Unbelievable throw. Exhibit A for his case for being the best quarterback in the country.
3:49 Jimmy forces a throw in the endzone on 3rd and long and the drive stalls. Nick Tausch trots onto the field and Tom Hammond informs us “he’s made ten straight field goals!” Shutup Tom…I’m treating his hot streak like baseball players treat a pitcher throwing a no-hitter.
3:50 Automatic. 3-0 Irish
3:52 Reno is convinced that Robby Toma was just on the field. I will not believe it if we just burned his shirt. I really think that he’s going to be good, there’s no point at all in burning it now. We have like four other receivers who are eligible that we can play.
3:53 Confirmed, it was Toma. Why? This won’t quite be the Eric Olsen level of terrible redshirt burning, but still. I guess the thinking is that we’re going to have so much talent at the position it’s worth throwing him out there whenever. Still a little disappointed.
3:54 BC goes for a flea flicker on the first play which Sergio Brown breaks up. Great to see him back there and not #22. Reno points out that BC quarterback Dave Shinskie is only a freshman but is actually older than Matt Ryan, who started at BC and graduated two years ago. They have to burn a timeout before a third down.
3:58 BC’s pass sails long and out of bounds. Three and out for the Iggles. Great start, exactly the anemic offense I wanted to see. They have THREE total yards in the first half of their first two road games. I guess the good news is they’ve equaled that already. Good punt pins us back at the 11.
4:00 Armando tears off another good run for a first down on the second play of the drive. He’s running so well this year.
4:01 Holding on Paul Duncan brings back the first down play. Come on, we can’t self-destruct and let them hang around. A second look reveals that was a pretty terrible call. Paul, you get a pass.
4:04 Jimmy backs into his own endzone, throws it away, but doesn’t get the ball back to the line of scrimmage. Safety. You have got to be kidding me. Are we really going to do the dam scoring for them? This is the only way they’ll get points on the board.
4:05 Ben Turk shanks the punt after the safety. Jesus Almighty Irish…They’ve got the ball just short of the 50. We’re so predictably sloppy, it just churns my stomach.
4:09 Two plays, a tackle by Te’o and a pass breakup by Te’o. 3rd and 8. Come on Irish, shut’em down.
4:10 Sergio doesn’t get to the receiver in time and it’s a 23 yard completion for first down. Dammit to hell.
4:11 FUUUUMBBBLLLLLLLLEEE! Recovered by BC…and it’s Harrison Smith with the hit to cause it! I’m really glad to see the adjustment they made and put him back up at linebacker. Any move to get him out of the secondary needed to be made. My question is how does he morph into a good tackler when he’s at LB? He was an atrocious tackler his entire time as a Safety.
4:11 Sergio drops an easy interception. You have gotta be kidding. Drop down and down some pushups Serg.
4:12 Irish hold and BC’s forced to punt. Their offense is pretty terrible, I would load the box and give this QB every chance to beat us, he’s far and away the worst one we’ve seen all year…and it’s not even close. Good punt pins us inside the 10. Let’s move FORWARD Irish.
4:16 First play out of the commercial break is a 14 yard run out of the Wildcat by Armando. Good block by Golden even though he was kind of half-assing it. Second try at the Wildcat is stuffed in the backfield.
4:19 After A BC timeout the Wildcat to Tate is blown up. Wenger blew his assignment on that one, terrible block.
4:20 Robby Toma gets his first career catch but well short of the first down. So-so punt by Turk and it’s BC ball at the 41.
4:21 Great catch on a terrible throw turns into a big game over midfield. That’s followed up by Shinskie bouncing a ball to an open receiver. He’s really terrible.
4:23 Another BC pass fall incomplete and it’s 4th down and time for a punt. The only way BC beats us (other than us totally imploding, which given our history against BC is not impossible) is by pounding the running game. Why are they trying to air it out? Another great punt pins us inside the 10 again.
4:25 Two good throws by Jimmy to Kamara and Goodman has us up to the 29.
4:27 After a three yard run by Armando on first down Jimmy is forced to scramble and throw it away. The pocket just totally collapsed, Duncan has looked pretty bad today. Jimmy is barking at them as the quarter ends. He does come across as a brat sometimes, but he’s right to get in their face right now—o-line needs to get their heads in the game.
4:30 Irish run a draw on 3rd and long and it’s time to punt. That should’ve been a late hit well after the play. Boneheaded decision by the BC linebacker, he got lucky. Another weak punt and it’s BC ball at the 31.
4:34 Big play on 3rd and long puts the Eagles over midfield. Gary Gray just lost track of the ball, not very good there. Our tendency to surrender the big play is alive and well.
4:35 Kyle McCarthy might’ve pulled his groin…or gotten a shot to the balls. Hoping heavily for the latter.
4:35 FUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE, IRISH RECOVER! Ethan Johnson jumps on it after a fumbled exchange from the shotgun. ND ball right next to midfield.
4:38 That was Harris’ first career fumble. So glad I could share in the memory.
4:39 Two passes (Kamara and Goodman) and we’re knocking on the door of field goal range.
4:40 Goodman catches an out-route but instead of turning and looking upfield where the defender had fallen down he just goes out of bounds for a seven yard game. Come on John, they aren’t going to hit you that hard, quit being a pansy.
4:44 Tom Hammond talks about the orange towel Herzlich has symbolically been given. Either I’m losing it or he’s color blind. That thing is yellow, it’s like BC/French’s mustard yellow. Check the HD screen Tom.
4:45 Offsides by BC gives us a first down on 3rd and short. Jimmy takes advantage of the 12 yard cushion the cornerbacks are giving our receivers and completes a first down pass to Kamara for another 12.
4:47 Another drives stalls inside the 10 after a pretty poor throw by Jimmy. He doesn’t look too sharp today.
4:49 TOUCHDOWN IRISH ON A BOTCHED FIELD GOAL/FAKE?!? I DON’T KNOW BUT I DON’T CARE, BEAUTIFUL RUN BY MAUST AND IT’S A TOUCHDOWN! ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND IT’S COMING BACK. I MEAN JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH, COME ON. Holding on Lane Cleeland. You’ve gotta be kidding me.
4:50 Field goal Tausch. Fifth game out of the last six that has had a touchdown taken off the board and were forced to kick a field goal. If we don’t have the record we’re certainly approaching it. 6-2 Irish. Gross.
4:54 They show the fake field goal again, beautifully set up. What a shame. First play is a twenty yard gain for the Eagles over the middle and they’re over midfield. Our secondary is like Swiss cheese.
4:55 Te’o BURIES Harris in the backfield and Harris is down. This is Manti’s world Mr. Harris, you’re just living in it.
4:57 Shinskie comes up with a 22 yard completion to the tight end on 3rd and long. If you are a tight end in high school wouldn’t you want to go to a school that had ND on the schedule so you could improve your draft stock tenfold once a year?
4:59 Suddenly Shinskie is gaining confidence and he completes a good pass down the right sideline to get down to the three yard line. It’s only the second quarter and I’m already feeling nauseous.
5:00 After a short gain on first down BC jumps for a false start…2nd and goal from the 7.
5:02 Total coverage breakdown by Harrison Smith leaves a guy wide open in the endzone. Touchdown Eagles. Irish now trailing 9-6. Is it just a given that we do everything to give BC a chance to win, no matter the year or quality of team on the field?
5:03 Five texts immediately roll in ranging from “Harrison Smith sucks” to “It’s time to sacrifice Harrison.” His instincts in coverage are comparable to that of a pine tree.
5:07 Irish are moving again with under four minutes left. Pass to Tate and another one to Toma gets us over our own 40.
5:09 Great scramble by Jimmy and a dangerous stretch of the ball gets us right up next to the marker on 3rd down. They measure and it’s good by about a half yard. Great play by Jimmy.
5:12 Good completion to Kamara followed by a pass over the middle to Armando gets us down to the 35.
5:13 Another laser to Rudolph on the right side for another 10 yards. That was in spite of a hold, which will be declined. First down Irish.
5:15 Another great catch by Tate above his head and then wills his way out of bounds…what a play.
5:16 TOUCHDOWN GOLDEN TATE. Clausen had time, rolled right, and hit him in the front corner of the endzone. Tate’s seventh of the year.
5:20 Ruffer reaches the endzone on his kick and the returner is so taken aback that he almost takes a knee, but then decides to run it out. They take a knee and that’s the end of the first half.
5:21 Alex Flanagan unloads some SAT-level questions for Charlie on his way to the locker room:
“What did Jimmy do to keep the touchdown play alive?”
A. Sat behind the great blocking and rolled slightly right
B. Conducted CPR
C. Wished upon a star
“What did you see on the safety play?”
A. A sailboat
B. I was never good at those I-Spy games
C. The same thing everyone else did you moron
“Are you impressed each week by my football acumen?”
A. If you weren’t a woman I’d slap you
B. Considering you ate so many paint chips pregame, yes
C. You know more than Mark May
5:22 Pretty disappointing first half for the Irish, a lot of missed opportunities and self-inflicted wounds…nothing new. I just hope to God this is the week where we find a way to step on the gas and put this out of reach. I am not even remotely interested in going down to the wire with BC. There’s some sort of terrible karma when it comes to the Eagles and I don’t want to tempt fate down the stretch.
5:42 No one can deny that we have the best commercials of any school. The ACC conference commercials have a Gator look-alike singing an “ACC ROCKS!” song…it’s not nearly as good as The Matchmen's “got a bottle of Jack but I have no Coke.” We ARE the Fighting Irish.
5:43 Irish start the second half with terrible coverage on the kickoff and BC takes over at the 43. Take Gun. Aim for Foot. Fire.
5:45 After forcing a 3rd and 3 Shinskie finds a wide open receiver over the middle. Who’s man was it? HARRISON BLEEPING SMITH. GET OFF THE FIELD.
5:46 Harrison Smith gets to the receiver late and it’s first and goal at the two. My blood pressure is somewhere in the stratosphere. Right down the gut for a touchdown on first and goal. 16-13 BC. Unreal. How can Harrison Smith still be on the field? He’s officially entered the Clifford Jefferson Zone. Congrats Harrison, you’ve achieved something I never thought was possible. Cliff, enjoy your company. Both #15 and #22 should be reserved for people on offense.
5:52 Irish are up to midfield. We’re moving at will, we just aren’t finishing once we get into BC territory.
5:54 Irish are facing a 4th and 2 at the 42 and they’re going for it. I don’t care if we run for it, pass for it, penalty for it…just pick up this dam first down, I don’t want to be trailing anymore.
5:55 Delay of Game. I hope that was planned because my head is throbbing I’m so mad. I may be developing a tumor.
5:56 Good punt by Turk pins them inside the 10. Can I get a Robert Blanton pick six please?
5:58 Right up the middle for a big first down out of the Wildcat.
5:59 Flanagan reports Tate has a neck stinger and Parris is out for the game. Sweet.
6:00 A 19 yard pass on second and long gets BC up to the 38 yard line, Slaughter is the victim this time. Another week of making a crappy quarterback look like a dam All-American. Shinskie is 11 for his last 14. We lucked out in not playing any great quarterbacks this year. Carson Palmer circa 2002 would’ve thrown for 600 yards on us.
6:02 Irish force another 3rd and long…and give up another 30 yard gain. Blanton didn’t have terrible coverage but was off-balanced and had no shot to make a play on the ball.
6:03 Harrison Smith bites on a pump fake and Shinskie runs right passed him for a first down. I hate you Harrison, I absolutely hate you.
6:05 FUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMBLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, IRISH RECOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SERGIO JARS IT LOOSE AT THE 2 AND BRIAN SMITH RECOVERS, HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE PLAY.
6:06 Of course it’s somewhat tainted by Brian Smith’s bonehead delay of game penalty. God we’re stupid for a smart school.
6:07 Brad corrects me: “Incorrect. UUUUUUUGE play.” Touche, that was a UUUGE play in this footbawww game.
6:10 After a deep throw falls incomplete to Tate, Armando runs for five yards. Third and long falls incomplete after a complete breakdown by the offensive line. Jimmy got drilled. Time to punt out of our own endzone. Another terrible punt gives the ball to BC at our 40 yard line. Their average field position at this point in the game has to be no worse than their own 40—and that’s with one drive that started at the 8.
6:15 It appears Jimmy may be really hurt and it’s his shoulder, not his toe. Crap.
6:15 Really good recovery by Blanton to stay with a receiver on 2nd down, bringing up a HUGE 3rd down.
6:16 Back’em up another five yards, false start. COME ON IRISH.
6:17 KYLE MCCARTHY WITH THE INTERCEPTION, HE RUNS IT BACK TO THE 40. I had just been commenting to Reno how he’d been quiet. I love him, he’s the anti-Harrison Smith.
6:18 False Start, Paul Duncan. I’d punt a baby if there were one in the room. We should be known as the Notre Dame Friendly Fire.
6:19 Completion to Duval Kamara bringing up 3rd and 1. Jimmy’s arm looked ok. Armando picks up the first down on the next play, good push by the offensive line.
6:20 The third quarter comes to an end. Saddle up, it’s time for another ridiculously stressful finish. I’m going to go grab some Bayer Aspirin just so I’m ready.
6:23 First down completion to Tate just short of the first down. Tack on another 15 for a late hit…questionable/late call to say the least. I’ll take it though I’m fully prepared for a makeup call.
6:25 Armando busts up the middle on a draw for a 11 yard run, just short of a first down. 3rd and 1.
6:26 First down on a quarterback sneak. 1st and goal. Come on Irish, don’t walk away with three here.
6:27 Incomplete to Tate, then a short pass in the flat to Golden for six.
6:28 Jimmy scrambles and tries to jump over the pile into the right corner of the endzone…he’s not that athletic, he wasn’t even close. Crap. It’s now 4th and a long one to the endzone and we call timeout. COME ON IRISH, FINISH.
6:32 Robert Hughes out of the Wildcat is stoned at the 1 inch line. He has no idea where he is right now, that hit was huge. You have to be kidding me. It might be worth reviewing but it doesn’t look like it’ll be overturned. I am just disgusted. This is a reoccurring nightmare. Eleven minutes left.
6:33 Robert Hughes has a concussion, absolutely no doubt. He might’ve been knocked out cold because when he met contact he almost went limp, his legs totally stopped moving—which is not typical of Hughes.
6:35 Quarterback sneak on first down, run up the middle for four yards on second down. We need a stop here. Come on Irish, step up and make a play.
6:38 Shinskie’s thrown for 239 more yards than his first two road games. Combined. The entire secondary should have their noses rubbed in the statsheet while every Notre Dame fan yells “NO, BAD.”
6:38 Irish hold, time to punt. Golden runs all over the place after a great punt and gets it back over midfield. Notre Dame ball at the 48.
6:42 Armando runs up the middle for nine yards. Another run gets us a first down. We’re now under nine minutes.
6:43 TOUCHDOWN GOLDEN TATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE CATCHES A TEN YARD OUT, MAKES A GUY MISS AND WALTZES INTO THE ENDZONE FOR SIX. HE DESERVES A BO JACKSON-ESQUE LINE OF COMMERCIALS. GOLDEN KNOWS BEING THE MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN. 20-16 IRRRRRRRRRISH.
6:45 “The 2009 season has been equivalent to a garbage can full of NOS for my heart and we’re only half way…” –Panzer. Amen.
6:47 Ruffer unleashes another crappy kick, BC ball at the 29. They then show the 9.5 yard cushion they gave Golden on that TD catch and run. We’ll chalk that strategy up as a poor decision.
6:48 Te’o busts through the line and hits the running back in the backfield, leading to a four yard loss. Awesome.
6:49 On third and long Shinskie throws a short pass that’s way behind his receiver. His terrible-ness is showing through. Time to punt. Irish take over with seven minutes left. Here is our chance to learn how to SLAM THE DOOR.
6:51 Armando is hurt on the first play. Crap. This is the third time he’s gone down late in a game. Are all our games just replays of previous ones?
6:52 Jonas Gray for five and it’s 3rd down. We need to pick this up, COME ON IRISH.
6:53 Incomplete pass. Ben Turk unloads another TERRIBLE PUNT, WHY THE HELL CAN’T WE FIND AN F-ING PUNTER WHO CAN KICK THE BALL 45 YARDS IN THE AIR?!?!?!!?!?!? THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RETARDED, GO OUT TO THE INTERHALL FIELDS AND TELL EVERYONE TO LINE UP SINGLE FILE AND KICK ONE BALL. FIND THE BALL THE GOES THE FARTHEST. THAT KID IS OUR PUNTER. I’M ABOUT TO PUNT THE LAMP NEXT TO ME. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I’D KICK IT AT LEAST 40 YARDS.
6:56 Boston College ball with six minutes left and three timeouts.
6:57 Two plays, two first downs for BC. I have that absolutely sickening feeling in my stomach again. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IRISH, COME ON, HOLD.
6:58 KYLE MCCARTHY WITH THE INTERCEPTION!!!!!!!!!!! I AM NAMING MY FIRST CHILD KYLE. The ball hit Raeshon in the chest and—like every Notre Dame cornerback of the last decade not named Shane Walton—he couldn’t catch it, but McCarthy stepped in and picked it out of the air. UUUUUUUUUUUUGE. SLAM THE GODDAM DOOR NOW IRISH, SLAM ITTTTT!
7:00 Two plays gets it to 3rd and 8. BC is down to one timeout, 3:33 left. Come on Jimmy, find a way to get this.
7:02 Interception Boston College. My heart just went through the floor. I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it. I’m in total shock. What a terrible pass.
7:03 They’re reviewing it, this should be overturned but it’ll still be fourth down.
7:04 It’s overturned, time to punt. Turk puts one out there maybe 40 yards, so not as terrible as before but still not good. BC Ball, 3:22 left at the 32. One timeout left.
7:05 MANTI TE’O DESTROYS A SCREEN PLAY, SEVEN YARD LOSS…SECOND CHILD IS BEING NAMED MANTI…KILLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
7:05 They had an open man and he missed him deep…Jeeeeeeeeez, bullet dodged. 3rd and 17, come on baby.
7:06 Fleming gets into the quarterback’s face, incomplete. FOURTH DOWN, COME ON IRISH.
7:07 First down Boston College right over the middle for 30 yards to Freddie Mitchell...I mean Gunnell. They’re over midfield. I want to vomit.
7:07 Pass interference on Kyle McCarthy, BC at the 31.
7:08 Te’o gets to the quarterback behind the line but the quarterback carries the entire pile for a short gain. They burned their final timeout, 1:48 left. I cannot take this anymore. 2nd and 6.
7:10 INTERCEPTION BRIAN SMITH!!!!!!!!!! BALLGAME, NOTRE DAME WINS, HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!! BOSTON COLLEGE, GET THE HELL OFF OUR FIELD. TAKE YOUR MORAL VICTORY AND GET BACK ON THE BUS.
7:11 “And I step back off the ledge.” –Hot Carl
7:12 Charlie please wipe your nose.
7:13 Wow, Jimmy goes over to congratulate Gunnell from BC and he starts jawing at Jimmy. Clausen shoves him in the chest, walks away, and gives him a dismissive wave. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Boston College Eagles! People wonder why we hate them so much. Bunch of classless punks with chips on their shoulders about being passed over by Notre Dame. Enjoy the flight back jackass.
Another ridiculously stressful game against a clearly inferior opponent. I know we keep talking about stress on the heart but we’re getting to the point where it is less joke and more reality. I am physically ill by the end of every Notre Dame game. Good Lord. Ten quick things.
1. We still haven’t learned how to slam the door…this alarms/upsets me.
2. Kyle McCarthy, you are my hero.
3. I hate Boston College SO much. SO SO MUCH.
4. Harrison Smith needs to be taken off the field forever. FOREVER.
5. Golden Tate’s Heisman campaign should be gaining steam. No joke.
6. Someone please teach one of our players how to punt. Guarantee Dayne Crist can punt it 45 yards.
7. The fact that we have had points taken off the board in FIVE of our games should be something we address immediately. How? I don’t know, make whoever committed the penalty run the steps of Hesburgh Library until they pass out. Then have Manti Te’o blindside them when they wake up.
8. Why do we have coverage breakdowns every game, without fail? The answer may be as simple as “Harrison Smith is on the field every game,” but I’m not sure.
9. Michael Floyd will not solve all our problems…seven games into the season it appears there are still far too many problems.
10. Boston College—Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.