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Notre Dame Football

No. 2 Notre Dame keeps rolling, tops Boston College

November 14, 2020

Notre Dame kept alive its bid for a second perfect regular season in three years, as well as its path to the Atlantic Coast Championship game and a potential College Football Playoff berth.

Perhaps more importantly Saturday, the Fighting Irish showed they can handle prosperity.

Courtesy three first-half touchdown catches from Ben Skowronek and its rugged rushing offense, second-ranked Notre Dame systematically pulled away from host Boston College, 45-31.

“I would question at times whether we had the mental focus; the toughness is there,” Irish coach Brian Kelly told ABC after he notched his 100th career win atop the program. “Uneven at times. I thought (Ian) Book played great. Thought the offense was really good. Showed a physicality certainly that we wanted to have up there today.

“There won't be a time where we don't have things to work on next week.”

Book threw for 283 yards, tossed a trio of scoring passes to graduate-transfer wideout Ben Skowronek and added a game-best 85 rushing yards. After the Irish scuffled a bit early in the game, C'Bo Flemister bulled into the end zone for the first of his two rushing touchdowns and a 17-13 lead. Flemister later left the game when he was banged up on a run.

“Relative to C’Bo, it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury; he was shaken up pretty much in terms of ankle, knee, leg,” Kelly said. “But our initial evaluation of him was nothing that would cause great concern.”

Notre Dame never again trailed, led by as many as 22, 38-16 and 45-22, before it closed its eighth win in as many games this season and 14th-straight since Halloween 2019 at Michigan.

“We're a bit tired on defense, you could see that today,” Kelly said, though the ND defense did force two turnovers. “It wasn't our best performance defensively.”

Three of Skowronek's five receptions went for scores of 10, 13 and 7 yards, respectively. The former Northwestern standout and Fort Wayne native likewise showcased remarkable ball-skills on multiple catches, including his first score in the end zone over the top of an Eagles defensive back.

It all helped Kelly assemble his century-mark win at Notre Dame, 40 of them since the onset of the 2017 season.

“I really hadn't thought much about it,” Kelly said. “It means in this business, I've had great coaches and great players. The over-under on that probably in my first year at Notre Dame, I don't think they expected me to make it that long.”

The Irish are open next week before they're scheduled to close their regular season with games at North Carolina (Friday, Nov. 27) and Wake Forest (Dec. 12) sandwiched around their home finale against Syracuse (Dec. 5).

Book's had two back-to-back commanding performances in key contests for the Irish; first last week's double-overtime epic against Clemson in a 47-40 win and Saturday's work at Chestnut Hill. The senior signal-caller has amassed 745 yards' offense, accounted for five touchdowns and not thrown an interception.

“Well the good part about it is the quarterback got better over the Clemson game,” Kelly said. “When you're quarterback is hot and he's playing well, that's a really good thing for us.”

BC (5-4, 4-4) had ND in an early 10-3 and also led 13-10 before the Irish seized command. The Eagles capitalized on an ND fumble and also appeared to have recovered a surprise onside-kick that could have kept momentum with the home team.

However, Notre Dame was interfered with on the kick, and the Irish utilized a 35-10 stretch to secure the win.

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