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2017 Opponent Previews: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

SBNation Site: One Foot Down

Game Date, Location: September 16, Chestnut Hill

2016 Record: 4-8

2016 Overall Offense Ranking: 62nd

2016 Overall Defense Ranking: 42nd

Bill Connolly’s Projected S&P: 17th

Last 2 Matchups: (2016) Notre Dame 19 BC 16 (2012) Notre Dame 21 BC 6

Key Players: On offense it’s a matter of which position you want to start with. Wide receiver Equanimeous ST.Brown is a player that is getting a lot of preseason hype and is on some people’s All-America teams. Brown had a strong junior year with 961 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns and is a tough wideout to match-up with at 6’4”. The stars of the ND offense might be the offensive line where four of five starters return, including tackle Mike McGlinchey who is considered a possible day one or day two NFL Draft pick next year. Phil Steele has ND as the 6th best offensive line unit in America.

On defense the star of the unit is senior middle linebacker Nyles Morgan who was the leading tackler on the team last year (94). Joining Morgan at LB is Drue Tranquill who was the second leading tackler on the team.

Why Boston College Will Win This Game: This game certainly sets up well on the schedule for the Eagles. Notre Dame will be coming off of a physical game against Georgia, and the week after playing BC the ‘Irish will be on the road at Michigan State.

In terms of the on field match-ups, ND was shredded on the ground by opponents last year which obviously would work I BC’s favor.

Why Boston College Will Not Win This Game: The BC defense struggled last year against high octane offenses. While not as good as Clemson or FSU on offense, NC did manage to put up at least 27 points per game in 10 of 12 games last year. When you consider that in one of the games that the ‘Irish scored under 27 points in was in a monsoon against NC State it makes the stat look extra impressive. If you throw out that game the ND offense averaged 33 points per game. If ND can speed up the tempo it could make for a tough game.

Hoff’s Odds BC Wins This Game: 45% I think this could be close, but I have too many bad memories of BC going against good offenses last year.