Friday, December 13, 2002
No. 12 Notre Dame 28, Boston College 16
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Tony Fisher ran for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 11 Notre Dame to a 28-16 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
The Irish (7-2) rushed for a season-high 380 yards as they avenged last year's loss to the Eagles (6-4).
Notre Dame used some imaginative play calling against BC, getting a first down on a fake punt and scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal. But it was dominant line play and solid running that was the key as the Irish won their fifth straight. The Irish had only one complete pass on their four scoring drives.
The Irish, who lost their last four games last season to finish with their first losing season in 13 years, will play in a Bowl Championship Series game -- most likely the Fiesta or Sugar bowls -- if they win their final two games at Rutgers and USC.
The Eagles, already are bowl eligible, close out their season game against No. 2 Miami in two weeks.
Notre Dame led 28-10 entering the fourth quarter, just as they were in their previous game when Air Force scored 18 unanswered points to force overtime. Boston College drove 94 yards for a score on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Brian St. Pierre to Dedrick Dewalt. St. Pierre's 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.
But the Irish offense, which had gone three-and-out on five of their six drives the previous two games, put together an eight-play, 36-yard drive that ate up 4:20. The Eagles had one last shot to score, but safety Ron Israel picked off a pass at the Notre Dame 22 to clinch the victory.
Boston College had 117 yards total offense in the fourth quarter, the fifth straight opponent to gain more than 100 yards in the fourth quarter against the Irish. Terrance Howard added 84 yards on 18 carries.
Despite losing leading rusher Julius Jones with a bruised thigh late in the first quarter, the Irish had their best rushing game since running for 386 yards in a 48-13 win over Kansas in the opening game last season.
Jones scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter, Fisher ran untouched for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter, Fisher added a 1-yard run in the third quarter and plack-kicker Nick Setta scored on a 12-yard run on a pitch on the fake field goal.
Boston College lost Sean Guthrie, who leads the Eagles with six sacks, with a sprained knee early in the second quarter.
St. Pierre, making his second career start with Tim Hasselbeck out with a sprained knee, was 15-of-29 passing for 296 yards with two interceptions, including an interception on the first drive that set up Notre Dame's first score. St. Pierre was sacked twice in the first quarter.
|Julius Jones left the game with an injury shortly after scoring a touchdown.|