Oct. 30, 2002
By Kevin Herrity
The Notre Dame football team continued its preparation on Wednesday for the Eagles of Boston College. This Saturday will be the 14th time the schools have met with Notre Dame leading the series 9-4 which includes a 5-2 mark in games played at Notre Dame Stadium.
The rivalry between Notre Dame and Boston College began in 1975 when Dan Devine, in his first year as the Notre Dame head football coach, took his Irish into Foxboro Stadium and won 17-3. The Irish then went on to play Boston College in the 1983 Liberty Bowl where the Irish knocked off the 13th ranked Eagles 19-18. The current series started in 1992 and the Irish have defeated the Eagles a total of six times between 1992-2000 – the third most defeats an opponent has given Boston College behind Miami and Virginia Tech.
The most memorable game in the series would have to be the 1993 loss to Boston College in South Bend, Ind. In this game, Boston College’s kicker David Gordon kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the undefeated and #1-ranked Irish, 41-39.
The two schools play for two different awards. The Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl, given by the Notre Dame Club of Boston, and the Ireland Trophy presented by the Notre Dame student government. The Ireland Trophy is intended to inspire a spirit of sportsmanship and friendly competition between the two schools.
Although this is head coach Tyrone Willingham’s first game against Boston College in this heated rivalry, he still understands the impact of a big rivalry game.
“Having been in this profession for 20-plus years, I have been involved in some very intense rivalries. I understand the nature of this rivalry even though it bares a different title. Notre Dame versus Boston College is still a very intense competition of two schools that have a fondness for kind of beating each other up.”
When Willingham was asked if had taken a look back into history to study the rivalry he stated…
“I don’t feel a need to look back to the past to understand that this is a big game for both institutions.”
The Irish will be looking to go 9-0 for the first time since 1993, when the Irish won their first 10 games. This game will mark the 166th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be televised live on NBC starting at 2:30 p.m. EST.