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Notre Dame at Boston College: Who, what, when, where, why and by how much?

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WHO? Notre Dame at Boston College. To some Irish fans, this game is the most important of the season. To others, it is merely a blip on the radar. Such is one of the more interesting dichotomies found within a nationwide fan base. Out west, Notre Dame fans count USC and Michigan as their top rivals. On the Atlantic seaboard, Boston College typically replaces USC in that description.

Rather than one be right and the other wrong, this is simply a result of who people share offices with, play softball against or mow the lawn next to. Even in a flat world, in-person bragging rights are the most-relished.

WHAT? Both 1-1 and seeking a return to winning, the unexpected result would drastically shift each season’s direction. An Eagles win would give them momentum before traveling to face defending-champion Clemson while it would dash just about any version of optimism or even pragmatism for Notre Dame’s 2017.

WHEN? 3:30 p.m. ET. To repeat: 3:30 in the afternoon by the eastern clock, noon-thirty by the Pacific clock. This bears continued reminder since this game was initially scheduled for hours earlier but was moved less than a week ago due to Hurricane Irma’s rescheduling effects.

WHERE? Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass., just outside of Boston, though the ride on the T may take more than an hour.

ESPN will broadcast the game. Presumably, any Watch ESPN app access or browser tuned to espn.com/watch should find it, as well.

WHY? Aside from the ACC agreement binding the Irish to a handful of matchups per season on a rotating basis, this game always brings back memories of a Boston College victory in 1993. Often forgotten in those conversations is the afternoon in November of 2012. That 21-6 win propelled Notre Dame ahead of Alabama in the rankings, creating a realistic path to a top-two ranking and a national championship game entry.

BY HOW MUCH? Boston College got walloped by Wake Forest last weekend. Not exactly a football powerhouse, losing to the Demon Deacons at all will create large spreads in Vegas’ eyes the following week. Falling at home to Wake Forest only amplifies that effect.

Thus, this game opened at 14.5, soon settling at 13.5 with a combined points total over/under of 51. Those projections equal a 32-19 final.

The Eagles should not sniff 20 points. Reaching double digits would be an accomplishment this weekend. More than the Irish offense exploding to produce a rout, it is the limited Boston College attack Vegas, and this space, looks at in expecting a boring fourth quarter.

Notre Dame 38, Boston College 6.

THIS WEEK’S INSIDE THE IRSH READING:
Monday Morning Leftovers: On Brian Kelly, defensive lines & Notre Dame in the NFL
Questions for the Week: A No. 2 WR, a RT decision & more
Notre Dame’s Opponents: USC rolls, UNC stumbles, more results & spreads
Kelly on Notre Dame’s sideline ‘fight’, Chip Long’s play calling and shuffling WRs
Gaining third yard more important for Wimbush than the seventh
Notre Dame looks for St. Brown to step up AND a No. 2 option, not OR
And In That Corner … The Boston College Eagles and Steve Addazio
Kelly on Notre Dame’s WRs and TEs, namely on Claypool and Kmet
Friday at 4: Four things to learn — Notre Dame at Boston College

INSIDE THE IRISH COVERAGE FROM THE GEORGIA GAME
Missed block, failed third downs doom Notre Dame in loss to Georgia
Things We Learned: Notre Dame’s d-line is good, but much else is not yet
Sunday Notre Dame Notebook: Offensive line notes; Irish ‘begging’ for No. 2 WR

THIS WEEK’S OUTSIDE READING:
Former Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith earned a game ball in his NFL debut, 20 months after that gruesome knee injury.
Notre Dame weighing options after another ‘Sea of Red’ due to ticket resales
Set aside 20-plus minutes for this short “30 for 30” on Pres. George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in Game Three of the 2001 World Series fewer than two months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Former Irish head coach Bob Davie is under investigation at New Mexico due to allegations of player mistreatment.
Nick Martin is going to do alright as an NFL center.
A Georgia Congressman flew up to South Bend to watch last week’s football game. Some would say getting out of Irma’s path would make sense. Others criticized his decision to leave his district.
Stewart Mandel delivered a level-headed, even reasonable, take on Irish football in his Monday recap of the weekend.
The legendary Faux Pelini answered one of life’s great questions, does God love Notre Dame football?
Will Wisconsin fans be able to drink all of Provo, Utah, dry? (Spoiler alert from a Wisconsin native: Yes.)