Eagles eye Irish game as huge opportunity

NEWTON, Mass. -- The Eagles won't play in a bowl game for the second straight season, a losing record clinched by last week's loss at Wake Forest. But they believe they have the next best thing coming this weekend.

A date with undefeated Notre Dame, which is ranked No. 4 and has BCS National Championship Game aspirations, under the lights in Alumni Stadium and beamed to living rooms across the country by ABC (8 p.m. ET).

"I think it's just an awesome opportunity," wideout Alex Amidon said before the team practiced in the snow Wednesday. "Playing a top-5 team in the country, undefeated, 9-0, especially Notre Dame, it's the big rivalry. We haven't had an opportunity to play a team like this this late in the season in a long time."

The Eagles aren't thumping their chests, promising a Saturday victory on a Wednesday. But they are asking a question.

"The whole team is convinced we can do it," linebacker Nick Clancy said. "The question going around is 'Why not us?' If [the Eagles] can do it in 1993, why can't we do it in 2012? That's the attitude going around the locker room.

"This is a one-game season, is what we're looking at is. This is it, man. This is the last opportunity we're gonna have to play a big-time team on a national stage. So guys are really excited about it."

Notre Dame is 9-0, but it hasn't always looked like a world-beater. The Irish went to three overtimes against Pitt last week, and struggled to put away Purdue and BYU earlier in the season.

A win against the Irish seems unlikely, but the Eagles say that's the goal.

"Shock the world almost," strong safety Spenser Rositano said. "It's gonna be fun. We've always played them well and it's a good rivalry game so I'm excited to go out and see what we can do.

"Obviously our goal is to win out, but this is like the big one because they're nationally ranked and it's gonna be on national television, so it can show everyone around the nation that we're still Boston College and we can still compete with anyone we play."

Beating the Irish, ruining their perfect season and a shot at the national title -- just as the Eagles did in '93 -- would salvage something of this so-far disappointing season.

"If we can beat Notre Dame this weekend we can say we did something," Amidon said. "The way I look at it is we've got an opportunity to make something of this season right now. If we can get them, we can look back on the season and say 'We did that.'"

Reshuffling the depth chart at RB

After Andre Williams injured an abdominal muscle in the loss in Winston-Salem, N.C., true freshman David Dudeck was the only healthy running back remaining.

He's at the top of the depth chart this week, headed for what looks like his first career start on as big a stage as BC will play on this season.

"I'm not really too worried about that right now," Dudeck said. "I'm just focusing on practicing and doing whatever we can do to best prepare for Notre Dame."

Rolandan "Deuce" Finch is second on the depth chart after slipping off of it entirely the past few games.

"Well like I said Sunday, next man up," head coach Frank Spaziani said of the running back rotation for the Notre Dame game. "We don't have a lot of options. That's where we're at."

Asked what got Finch back on the depth chart, Spaziani didn't offer much.

"Deuce has practiced well," he said.

Asked whether he thought Finch would get carries, Dudeck said he didn't know what his teammate's role would be.

"I know that Coach Spaz is gonna do whatever it takes to win this football game, and he's gonna put the best 11 guys out there," the freshman said.

Toeing the line

Seth Betancourt has also found his name thrust to the top of the depth chart because of an injury, this time an ankle injury to starting right guard Ian White.

"I've been preparing all year for a situation like this," Betancourt said. "Just going to battle like it's any other game."

When White went down during the game against Wake Forest, Betancourt said he didn't hesitate. Offensive line coach/running game coordinator Jim Bollman had told him to be ready to go in at guard if the man in front of him went down, so that's what he did.

With White still out, the 6-foot-6, 304-pound sophomore is practicing with a purpose this week.

"Obviously it's Notre Dame," Betancourt said, "but it's just a great opportunity and I'm excited that I get to help out the team."

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.