Eagles Fall Short to No. 4 Irish, 21-6
Nov. 10, 2012
BOSTON (AP) - Everett Golson ran for a touchdown and threw for two more on Saturday night to help No. 4 Notre Dame beat Boston College 21-6 and keep its national championship hopes intact.
Taking the field one hour after top-ranked Alabama lost to No. 15 Texas A&M, the Fighting Irish (10-0) remained unbeaten and in the hunt for a spot in the BCS title game. And a week after needing triple overtime - and a lot of luck - to get past unheralded Pittsburgh, Notre Dame eased past a longtime rival that had twice before spoiled its hopes of a No. 1 finish.
Golson completed 16 of 24 passes for 200 yards, connecting with Troy Niklas for a 7-yard touchdown at the end of the first half and with John Goodman from 18 yards out early in the second. Manti Te'o grabbed his sixth interception of the season - a school record for a linebacker - to end BC's last real chance at a comeback with just under 6 minutes left.
Chase Rettig completed 27 of 34 passes for 247 yards for BC (2-8), which is off to its worst start since 1989. Alex Amidon caught six passes for 84 yards to break the school's single-season record for receiving yards.
Theo Riddick ran 18 times for 104 yard and caught six passes for 67 more for the Irish, who are 10-0 for the first time since 1993.
That was the year BC's David Gordon kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to beat No. 1 Notre Dame and end its perfect season in the final game. In 2002, the Irish were unbeaten and No. 4 in the country when unranked Boston College won 14-7 in South Bend to again spoil Notre Dame's chances at a national championship.
But there was no upset this year in the rivalry known locally as "The Holy War," a matchup between the only two Catholic schools in the FBS that drew the first sellout crowd of the season on a frigid night in Chestnut Hill.
In fact, it wasn't even as close as Notre Dame's victory over Pitt, or the four other games the Irish have won by a touchdown or less, keeping them near the top of The Associated Press rankings with an outside chance at a spot in the BCS title game.
Notre Dame entered the day trailing Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State in the AP Top 25. The Irish would probably need either Oregon or Kansas State to fall from the unbeaten in order to squeeze into the top two in the BCS rankings.
Notre Dame scored on its first possession, going 95 yards to make it 7-0 on Golson's 2-yard run. The Irish fumbled on their second try but then mounted another long drive, going 87 yards on 16 plays and taking a 14-3 lead on Golson's pass to Niklas with 26 seconds left in the half. Golson rolled right and found Goodman in the left corner of the end zone on the first drive of the third quarter to make it 21-3.
Boston College made one last charge with a 45-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that cut the deficit to 21-6. On Notre Dame's next possession, Riddick fumbled and, while the referees tried to untangle the pile, BC safety Spenser Rositano stood 15 yards away, waving the ball in the air.
But BC couldn't get past the Notre Dame 35 before turning the ball over on downs. The Eagles held on defense, then brought the ball to midfield before Rettig's pass was deflected by receiver Donte Elliott and right to Te'o.
2012 Boston College Football - Game 10; Notre Dame 21, Boston College 6
Boston College Postgame Notes
Boston College trails in the all-time series, 13-9, and is 4-5 against Notre Dame at home.
Notre Dame has won the last four meetings.
Junior wide receiver Alex Amidon set the single-season Boston College record for receiving yards with 84 yards on the night to amass 1,156 yards so far this season. He surpasses Brian Brennan's record of 1,149 yards set in 1983.
Junior kicker Nate Freese is 7-for-7 in 30-39 yard field goals this season after recording a 36-yard score in the second quarter. He connected on his first field goal over 40 yards with a 45-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. This was the fifth game this season that Freese has made multiple field goals and the 13th of his career.
Freshman running back David Dudeck's 40 receiving yards was his highest total of the season.
Junior LB Steele Divitto forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. It was the third recovery of the season and fifth of his career.
Sophomore DB Spenser Rositano recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter.
Four Wounded Warriors and JB Harvey were at midfield for the coin toss. Boston College and the Harveys' foundation "JB's Keys to DMD" joined with Team Impact, an organization that pairs children who have life-threatening illnesses with collegiate sports teams and made JB's dreams of participating in sports a reality.
Attendance: 44,500 (sellout) Weather: 40 degrees, winds out of the southeast at 4 mph, clear. Coin Toss: Notre Dame won the toss and deferred to the second half. Boston College will receive, Notre Dame will defend the south end zone.
Boston College POSTGAME Quotes
Head Coach Frank Spaziani
Overall "Congratulations to Notre Dame. They've got an excellent football team. They are well coached. Our kids played hard. They fought until the end. We just didn't make enough plays against a good football team. We had a couple of opportunities and weren't able to convert."
"A couple of times we kept the ball ten, twelve plays and we came away with nothing so we have to make plays. That's how you beat a team like that."
"We believe that our guys can win every week. We believe we can win the game. They played hard. When you believe you can win and you play hard, it shows."
On the play of running back Deuce Finch "I saw the Deuce that I like to see."
On Notre Dame's ability to convert on third down "You have to play good defense to win. And you certainly have to play good third-down defense. Some of it was our execution. Some of it was their execution. Some of it was their improvisation. We have to make some plays. When we have the opportunity we have to make our share of plays. When you're losing you're not making your share of plays."
Junior QB Chase Rettig
On offense's statistical success: "Obviously statistically it's been a pretty good year for us, but you're still walking around campus with a loss. It's not really significant to us. I think everyone could vouch for that on our team. We'd rather win. Alex would rather win and have zero catches."
On playing Notre Dame: "I think when you get a chance to play Notre Dame regardless of anyone's opinion on Notre Dame - where they stand in the rankings - it's Notre Dame. Everyone knows them when you're growing up. Everyone says play each game the same, but that doesn't stand true when you're playing Notre Dame. It's an extra focus. It's an exciting game to get ready for especially when playing at home - the stadium is packed. They don't think it's a rivalry, but we still have that sense of mind."
On Alex Amidon setting single-season receiving record: "I think he has a good quarterback. Everything has been a credit to Alex. He's in my class - we came in together, and everyone would say that Alex is the hardest working guy on our football team with a couple of other guys. Because he works so hard, he finds a way to get open late in the game. He's taken a lot of hits this year and gotten up every time. Everyone should be congratulating him on his accomplishment."
Junior WR Alex Amidon
On setting single-season receiving record: "I don't really have too much to say. It's everyone on the offense, it's not just me. I think Chase is playing phenomenal this year. The only thing that matters to me right now is that we're 2-8."
On what a win over Notre Dame would have meant: "A win against Notre Dame - a top-ranked team in the country - would have been great for the whole organization. It just didn't happen."
On the BC offense's performance: "We were moving the ball pretty well in the beginning, and I think you have to give a lot of credit to that defense. They play so tough. They have great players on that defense. They were just making plays, and we weren't."
Junior LB Steele Divitto
On Notre Dame's offense: "Whenever you're facing a national-caliber team, you know they're going to execute. That's something we have struggled with this year. We get them to third and long, and we just can't get off the field. That's something we need to work on and continue to build on. The reason we won the Maryland game is because we got off the field on third down. Today we couldn't do that until later in the game, and it was already too late."
On playing without linebackers Nick Clancy and Kevin Pierre-Louis: "Obviously you miss the options of them - they're both veteran guys, and they've been around here for a while. I think the other guys stepped up really well, and Sean Duggan definitely has a good confidence about him. Steven Daniels has shown a lot of improvement throughout the year. That just goes to show what kind of coach Coach [Bill] McGovern is. He's one of the best coaches as far as developing players goes."
On team's mindset moving forward "There's a lot of fight in this group. It's about getting the right guys and getting the right mentality out of everyone. When I look over at Alex, Alex is a guy that I would die for. We did a lot of work in the offseason together. He's a guy that puts in 100 percent for everyone else. The selfless teams - the teams that are accountable and care for one another - are the more successful teams."
NOTRE DAME POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Brian Kelly
On tonight's win and the play of both teams... "BC played very well tonight offensively. I think they ran every play imaginable. Our guys defensively saw so many different plays tonight, but they kept fighting and they kept them out of the end zone. I think that is the story. And offensively, I am disappointed with a couple of turnovers tonight but I am really pleased with the quarterback play. It's hard to win and our guys really played hard tonight. They played hard for four quarters and came up with a nice win."
On quarterback Everett Golson... "Everett played the way that he needs to play, especially in the red zone. We said that once he starts playing at the level that we need him in the red zone, we will start scoring touchdowns and not just field goals."
On the Eagles running many different offensive plays... "We tried to tie down a little bit and play man. We got a couple of screens out where they did a good job of getting us off our man. No fault of BC, in terms of picking. When I look at what BC did offensively, we saw everything and we just have to ready for that."
On converting third downs... "We did a nice job on third down. I thought that our quarterback play was really good. He picked up one of the best plays that I think he has had when he ran it on third down. He put his foot in the ground, and went north and south and showed some real toughness. We were effective because our quarterback was effective tonight.
LB Manti Te'o
On teams throwing the kitchen sink at you the rest of the way... "I'm not really sure to be honest, everyone did their job today and didn't step out of their element. We were able to make plays and keep them out of the end zone."
How real is that National Championship picture to you? "It's as only real as Wake Forest. We have to deal with them and play one game at a time, that's college football. Anyone can beat anyone at any time."
On the team having a business-like approach and not worrying about style points... "It's always about the win, that's all that matters to us."
CB Bennett Jackson
Thoughts on the game overall... "They are a good football team, they throw the ball a lot and their QB is a good player. We prepared for them all week in practice and we were able to have strong practices all week. We're glad that showed up for the game."
How did you hear about Alabama losing? "We heard about it before the game, a couple of guys were talking about it on the phone. We had our minds focused on what we had to get done so we weren't too concerned about it."
Were you concerned with style points? "To myself, my teammates, and my coaches, a win is a win. Winning is not easy, Boston College comes out every year and plays us tough. We are just focused on leaving it all out on the field and getting a win."