Notre Dame very well could be the most difficult opponent on Boston College’s schedule next season. With the added factor that the Irish may be in the midst of a playoff hunt for their November 19th match-up with BC, expect this one to be an uphill battle.
Notre Dame lost its veteran signal caller in Jack Coan, but as always with the Fighting Irish, there’s another top QB recruit ready to take his place. 4-star sophomore QB Tyler Buchner is ready to take the helm in South Bend with a lot of expectations on his shoulders to usher in the Marcus Freeman era. Buchner is especially effective with his feet and his tape is at its best when he’s either scrambling to make a throw or taking the ball downfield himself. Reports say that there is still room for Buchner to improve as a pocket passer, but that he’s still capable and will be a force under center regardless.
The Irish lost their top pass catcher from last season in Kevin Austin, but otherwise return almost all of their production including star TE Michael Mayer. New BC TE George Takacs transferred here in order to get out from under Mayer on the depth chart. This is all good news for Notre Dame, because their running game was lackluster for a top-10 team last season. Their top rusher barely cracked 1,000 yards and the back-ups hung around 200 yards themselves, which are more in-line with BC numbers than a team that expects to be competing for a CFP berth. After losing top RB Kyren Williams, it’s tough to predict whether that will improve in 2022.
The Notre Dame defense was a top-20 unit last season and, despite the loss of safety Kyle Hamilton, you should expect them to improve even further this season. Notre Dame’s defense gave up the 13th fewest passing TDs in the nation last season and the 14th fewest total points per game, which would put them at #2 in the ACC behind only Clemson. Now new HC Marcus Freeman is a defensive specialist and he also has brought in new DC (and former Boston College LBs coach) Al Golden to make up a formidable staff. They return their top pass rushers and almost all of their best defensive backs for a unit that should be competing at the highest level of college football.
Overall, expect the offense to be at least as good as last year, with the added potential to explode into a terrific offense depending on the performance of QB Tyler Buchner. On top of that, the Irish defense should get even better. After finishing 8th in the final AP poll last season, this team will be a serious contender for the College Football Playoff in 2022. Boston College will need to get lucky to make it a close game, and even luckier to squeak out a win.