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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

Key moments of the game: Notre Dame versus Boston College

No. 18 Notre Dame dominated the Boston College Eagles this afternoon in their home finale and senior day, securing the win in a  44-0 blowout. Here are five key moments of the game that contributed to the Irish’s victory in the 27th meeting of the two teams. 

Ben Morrison Interceptions 

Freshman cornerback Ben Morrison was a star against the Eagles and helped get things rolling for the Irish. Less than three minutes into the game, Morrison intercepted the ball on the BC 20. The Irish then secured the first touchdown of the game. But Morrison had more to give. Just when the Eagles had a substantial drive in the final two minutes of the first, QB Emmett Morehead’s pass was intercepted by Morrison in the end zone. In the third quarter of gameplay, Morrison did it again; this time, in a snow squall. His five career interceptions are the most for an Irish freshman since former Irish safety Kyle Hamilton had four in 2019, and the most yearly for an Irish player ever since Manti Te’o intercepted seven in 2012, placing Morrison in a suitable spot for a freshman All-American honor. The true freshman is just getting started.

Run Irish Run

The Irish saw the most success today in the run game. Granted, the weather may not have given them much of a choice. But the Irish backs still showed up in a big way. Junior quarterback Drew Pyne threw for 122 yards and one touchdown in the first half (156 total), but was 10/19 for completion (13-25 overall). These bad misses on several passes coupled with Pyne’s lack of effectiveness in the red zone did not hinder the Irish today, but must be noted. The Irish demonstrated efficiency within possession, as all seven of their drives in the first half resulted in points (three field goals, four touchdowns). Three of these touchdowns were a product of rushing the ball, as was the prior first down. 214 of Notre Dame’s 336 first-half yards came on the ground. Meanwhile, Boston College rushed for just one yard in the first 30 minutes.

Running backs dominate gameplay

The running back trio of sophomore Logan Diggs, sophomore Audric Estime, and junior Chris Tyree dominated consistently throughout gameplay, carrying the Irish to a 37-0 lead at halftime. Diggs had a stellar performance, kicking things off for the Irish with a 51-yard rushing first down in the first play of the game. Diggs would later run it in for a touchdown 4:55 into the first quarter. By then, Diggs already had 75 yards on the ground on seven carries, eclipsing Notre Dame’s rushing production last weekend (66 yards) in their 35-32 win over Navy. “Diggs on the carry” echoed repeatedly throughout Notre Dame stadium as the sophomore amassed over 122 yards in the game. Estime also contributed greatly with a touchdown in the second quarter,  and Tyree followed suit well. Estime had another touchdown in the third, earning 71 total yards at the end of the game. Tyree clocked out at 50. 

Turnovers and sacks wither down the Eagles

Turnovers were key for the Irish this game to show the Eagles which team was boss in the first half. Three interceptions from Morrison, a fumble recovery by senior defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey, and a fumble recovery on a backward pass from senior linebacker Marist Liufau gave the Irish momentum and withered down the already lethargic Eagles. Foskey’s sack in the final seconds of the first quarter earned him the all-time sack record at ND, passing former Irish Justin Tuck’s record of 24.5 sacks with 25 of his own. Junior Xavier Watts also contributed a sack at the end of the third, with Justin Ademilola right behind him.

Irish keep morale in difficult weather conditions 

The biting weather that produced a feels-like temperature of 11 degrees at kickoff did not deter the Irish from having their highest-scoring game of the season. Explosive plays early contributed to an Irish 37-0 shutout by the end of the first half, which continued for a final score of 44-0. Boston College was looking like they had quit and wanted to leave early on, but this only increased as time progressed. When the snow picked up in the second half, leaving little visibility, the Irish did not waver. Irish players danced and stirred up the crowd as the flakes covered the field, and gameplay went on. A mix of the senior day sentimentality and some true Irish grit gave the Irish a well deserved, confidence-instilling blowout to round out things at home.