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ND 49, BC 20: The Key Play

Before the game fell apart, anyway

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Boston College Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

What to pick for The Key Play for this game? The Fighting Irish had about thirty runs for 50+ yards, so I guess you could pick one of those. Certainly they were what broke the Eagles, but there were too many of them to choose just one.

There was also Steve Addazio’s baffling, indefensible decision at the end of the first half to not make an attempt at getting some points with the ball on the ND 44, 18 seconds, and two timeouts in his pocket. But that wasn’t really a “play.”

Instead, I’m going with a play that turned momentum back when BC was still in the game — and going for the lead — before things got out of hand in the second half.

7:46 remaining in the 3rd quarter
4th & 1 at the Notre Dame 30

Jon Hilliman run for no gain -- TURNOVER ON DOWNS
ND 14, BC 13

First and foremost, this isn’t Jon Hilliman’s fault. Notre Dame knows BC is going to run. BC is set up for Power O — we’re running.

But the bigger problem is, why is the play call to set up the running back seven yards behind the line of scrimmage and run the ball into a wall? You know there’s going to be a pile of humanity at the line of scrimmage. This sort of play just takes too long to develop.

There were so many more better options, not the least of which is just doing the QB keeper. Even if that play fails, at least it makes more sense.

It’s hard to remember now because of how everything fell to pieces in the 2nd half, but BC not only was in the game at this point, but they were going for the lead. You like BC’s chances to get 3 points with Colton “In N Out” LichtenBurger kicking the lights out, and while it may not have mattered in the long run, it’s hard to think of how game flow might have changed from that point.

This finished off a stretch of three straight drives where the Eagles started with he ball in Notre Dame territory and only came away with three points. You aren’t going to win too many games doing that.