Notre Dame-Boston College Preview Capsule
By The Associated Press
(AP) -- No. 4 Notre Dame (9-0) vs. Boston College (2-7), 8 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Notre Dame by 19
Series Record: Notre Dame leads 12-9
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Notre Dame needs a victory to remain undefeated and keep alive its very outside shot at a spot in the national championship game. Boston College is already ineligible for a bowl game for the second straight year, and a victory in the "Holy War" over the only other Catholic school playing FBS football is the last chance the Eagles have to salvage something positive out of their season.
Notre Dame secondary vs. Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig: Notre Dame is 10th in the nation in total defense and 11th in both rush defense and pass efficiency defense, but the Irish secondary has gotten lucky at times, with opponents dropping passes and missing open receivers at crucial times. Rettig has thrown for 2,561 yards and 16 touchdowns.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: DE Stephon Tuitt is quick and ranks fifth in the nation in sacks with 10, the third most in a season by an Irish player and just 3.5 behind the school record set by Justin Tuck in 2003. Tuitt blocked a field goal against Stanford and returned a fumble 77 yards for a TD against Navy.
Boston College: WR Alex Amidon. With 63 receptions for 1,073 yards and six touchdowns, Amidon leads the Atlantic Coast Conference and is fifth in the country with 119.2 receiving yards per game. He has six 100-plus yard games, tying the school record. He was the ACC receiver of the week against Clemson on Oct. 1, when he had 193 receiving yards - the most for a BC pass-catcher since Doug Flutie connected with Gerard Phelan for 226, including a last-second Hail Mary, in the Eagles' 1984 victory over Miami.
FACTS & FIGURES
The winner of the game receives two trophies: the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy, both of which honor the schools' shared history. ... Frank Spaziani is 0-3 against Notre Dame. Brian Kelly is 2-0 against BC. ... Notre Dame is 25-10 under Kelly, the best start for a Fighting Irish coach since Holtz had the identical record through three seasons. Holtz's 25th victory was a 34-21 win over West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship. ... Notre Dame is 5-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less this year. The school record is six wins by seven points or fewer, set by the 1939 team, which finished 7-2. ... Irish LB Manti Te'o has seven takeaways this season, tied for third-most in FBS. ... Notre Dame averages 200.3 yards rushing and 204.1 yards passing per game. The only Irish teams with more than 200 yards in each category for the full season were the 1977 national champions and the 1970 team that finished second.
Updated November 8, 2012