For just the second time in the 114-year history of Notre Dame football, the Irish are selecting captains on a game-by-game basis. The only other time Notre Dame chose captains in this fashion was 1946 under legendary head coach Frank Leahy. Today's Irish captains were: LT Jordan Black, DT Darrell Campbell, LCB Vontez Duff and C Jeff Faine. Today's game marks Faine's fifth selection as team captain this season, while Black was named a captain for the third time, and Campbell and Duff were captains for the second time in 2002.
Notre Dame won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half. Boston College elected to receive, while the Irish chose to defend the North goal.
Today's game marks the 166th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 at the old 59,075 capacity). The Boston College game also represents the 214th home sellout in the last 215 games (dating back to 1964), and the 146th sellout in the last 169 games involving Notre Dame.
With the addition of 140 field seats for today's game, the Irish and Boston College helped set a new Notre Dame Stadium attendance record of 80,935. The previous mark was 80,795, established in all six home games last year, as well as the first four home contests this season. Today's attendance record also represents the third consecutive game (and fifth time in the last two seasons) in which Notre Dame has helped set a new stadium attendance mark (Air Force and Florida State in 2002, Nebraska and Texas A&M in 2001).
Counting postseason play, Notre Dame has now had its last 120 games televised on one of four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN), a stretch going back more than nine full seasons. The last time the Irish didn't appear on one of those four networks was Oct. 31, 1992, when they defeated Navy, 38-7, at Giants Stadium. That game was only shown locally in South Bend on WNDU-TV.
Notre Dame suffers its first loss of the 2002 season, and sees its nine-game winning streak snapped. Prior to this afternoon, the last Irish loss came on Nov. 24, 2001 at Stanford, a 17-13 setback orchestrated by current Notre Dame head coach Tyrone Willingham (who was guiding the Cardinal at the time).
Boston College snaps a 23-game losing streak to ranked opponents, earning its first victory over a Top 25 opponent since a 20-14 upset of Virginia Tech on Sept. 7, 1995. It also is the Eagles' first win over a top-four opponent since a 41-39 upset of top-ranked Notre Dame on Nov. 20, 1993 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Boston College notches its fifth all-time victory against Notre Dame, including its third at Notre Dame Stadium and its third in four seasons.
The Eagles register their second consecutive win over the Irish, marking just the second time in series history that BC has won back-to-back games against Notre Dame (also 1993-94).
Boston College defeats a top-10 Notre Dame team for the third time, having also done so in 1993 and 1994.
In the last two games between Notre Dame and Boston College, the Irish have run 166 offensive plays for 706 yards, while the Eagles have run 100 plays for 538 yards. Notre Dame also averaged a 37:06 time of possession, while BC held the ball for an average of 22:54 in the two games. In both contests, the Irish had an opportunity to tie or win the game in the final minutes, but came up short.
Entering today's game, Notre Dame's offense had converted on 21 of its 24 trips into the red zone. The Irish came away scoreless on five of their six drives inside the BC 20-yard line this afternoon.
Boston College scored first on a three-yard touchdown run by Derrick Knight with 2:39 left in the first quarter. It was just the third time this season Notre Dame has allowed an offensive touchdown in the first half (also Stanford and Florida State).
Boston College led Notre Dame, 6-0, at the end of the first quarter. It was the third time this season the Irish trailed after one period they also fell behind against Stanford (7-0) and Pittsburgh (3-0).
Boston College LB Josh Ott returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown with 4:03 left in the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead (following a successful two-point conversion). It marked the largest deficit of the season for Notre Dame, which previously had trailed by seven points against both Stanford and Air Force.
Notre Dame was held scoreless in the first half of today's game, the first time that has happened since Nov. 28, 1998 at USC. It also represented the second time this season in which the Irish have trailed at halftime (7-3 vs. Stanford).
Notre Dame turned the ball over a season-high five times (three fumbles, two interceptions). It's the most turnovers by the Irish since Sept. 18, 1999, when they also had five giveaways (four fumbles, one interception) against Michigan State.
Notre Dame passed for a season-high 235 yards, topping its previous best of 226 yards vs. Maryland. The Irish also tied their season-best with 22 first downs, matching their total at Air Force.
Sophomore TB Ryan Grant rushed 27 times for 107 yards this afternoon, collecting his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
Junior QB Carlyle Holiday attempted a career-high 32 passes today, surpassing his previous career standard of 27 pass attempts in the 2002 season opener vs. Maryland.
Senior PK Nicholas Setta converted his only PAT today, extending his streak of consecutive extra points made to 78. That string is the second-longest in school history, trailing only Craig Hentrich's run of 136 straight PAT from Sept. 30, 1989 to Sept. 26, 1992.
Boston College TB Derrick Knight rushed 26 times for 129 yards and one TD this afternoon. It is only the second time this season the Notre Dame defense has given up a 100-yard rusher < Joey Harris of Purdue ran for 109 yards back on Sept. 7. As a team, BC rushed for 107 yards, becoming just the third Irish opponent to run for more than half of its season average (149.14) < the others were Purdue and Pittsburgh.
Since opening the 2001 season at 0-3, Notre Dame is 13-4 (.765) in its last 17 games. In all four of those losses (vs. Boston College (twice), Tennessee and Stanford in 2001), the Irish had possession with an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the final five minutes.