Boston College vs. Notre Dame Preview + Free Pick
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Posted on 10/11/2007 7:08:58 PM
NCAA Football Betting: Boston College at Notre Dame Odds
BOSTON COLLEGE at NOTRE DAME
Oct. 13, 3:30 PM ET
BetUS College Football Betting Odds: Boston College -15
Our top sportsbook – NOTABLE STAT: Notre Dame 119th and last in nation in rushing, sacks allowed.
KEY NCAA FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Notre Dame 1-7 ATS last eight games at home.
(For more stats and trends on this weekend’s games, check out our Matchup Tool)
I may live within shouting distance of the Notre Dame campus, but that doesn’t mean I’m shouting too much about the current state of affairs in South Bend. Even in ND’s 20-6 win over UCLA last Saturday, in which the team covered a 21-point spread by THIRTY-FIVE points, there is not a lot of encouragement. The Irish managed just 139 total yards on offense, with one offensive touchdown and took advantage of the fact that UCLA had to insert their third-string quarterback, and a walk-on no less (McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who sounds like an investment banker) when Ben Olson went down with a knee injury.
Yes, Jimmy Clausen completed more than half his passes (17 of 27), but he achieved just 3.1 yards an attempt. That’s microscopic. In a season that has included five starts, Clausen has thrown for 558 yards, which is almost a hundred yards less than Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell threw for in ONE game against Oklahoma State.
It gets worse. Notre Dame is dead last in the country in rushing. So far they’ve tried it 199 times for 198 yards. That’s less than a yard per attempt, and has amounted to 33 yards a game. That won’t do and the offensive line has allowed more sacks than anyone else, by far. All of a sudden, Charlie Weis doesn’t look like such an offensive guru, does he? If he’s taking some criticism for that (mostly outside of South Bend), it’s because he deserves it. Weis made a big mistake in putting his offensive team together this year. He had Jimmy Clausen in the fold as a recruit who enrolled early. He knew the whole time that eventually, Clausen, who is one of the most sought-after high school QB’s in recent years, was going to be the starter, especially in a year when the Irish had to rebuild after Brady Quinn’s departure. Yet Weis persisted in doing what some other coaches have hurt their teams with, which is to create a phony quarterback “competition” in fall practice when none really should have existed.
You see, NCAA rules limit the number of practices a team can hold. So, if you’re going to make believe Clausen is really in a contest with Evan Sharpley and Demetrius Jones for the starting quarterback job, you’re going to be splitting the snaps between those guys in practice, which means nobody is going to get enough snaps with the first team offense. It will get everybody off to a slow start. The same thing happened in Utah last year, when Brett Ratliff was subjected to a phony “competition” with Tommy Grady and had a disastrous opener against UCLA and to Andre Woodson in Kentucky, causing him to get off slowly against Louisville. Sometimes, competition isn’t necessarily a good thing.
That having been said, if Notre Dame’s offense wasn’t so bad, I might be tempted to take the points with them this week against Boston College. That’s because ND’s pass defense is ranked fourth in the country, allowing just 49% completions. They’ve played against a few decent quarterbacks. Of course, Matt Ryan is probably the best one they’ve faced yet – the BC signal-caller is making his Heisman case, with 1857 yards passing and 15 TD’s on 63% completions. Boston College is now 4th in the country and “poll-conscious,” which means these guys know they have to be impressive in order to hold that rating. The Eagles have won four straight meetings in this series, covering three of them, which if nothing else means they are not at all intimidated by their traditional Catholic rival; and Notre Dame, which is on a 6-16-1 ATS run overall, has dropped seven of its last eight against the number at home.
JAY’S PLAY: BOSTON COLLEGE * (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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(Charles Jay of TotalActionExtra.com still has some of that college spirit. He is a regular contributor to the Top Sportsbooks Locker Room)
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