Chestnut Hill, MA – Everett Golson threw for two touchdowns and ran in another, as No. 4 Notre Dame handled lowly Boston College, 21-6, at Alumni Stadium.
The Fighting Irish (10-0) are off to their best start since the 1993 squad won their first 10 games. Boston College ended that perfect season by winning on a last-second field goal, but solving Golson proved too much in trying to pull off another upset.
Notre Dame's freshman quarterback completed 16-of-24 passes for 200 yards and added 39 yards on 11 carries for Notre Dame, which came in ranked fourth in the BCS standings and will likely move up after No. 1 Alabama lost to Texas A&M Saturday afternoon.
"Everett played the way that he needs to play, especially in the red zone," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said of his quarterback. "We said that once he starts playing at the level that we need him in the red zone, we will start scoring touchdowns and not just field goals."
Boston College (2-8) has dropped two straight following its win over Maryland -- the program's only victory against an FBS opponent this season.
The Eagles managed a mere 300 yards, 247 coming via the arm of Chase Rettig, who completed just 27-of-43 attempts and was intercepted by Heisman trophy hopeful Manti Te'o in the fourth quarter.
"A couple of times we kept the ball ten, twelve plays and we came away with nothing so we have to make plays," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani remarked. "That's how you beat a team like that."
Nate Freese made two field goals for Boston College, including a 45-yarder that cut the deficit to 21-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Theo Riddick lost a fumble near midfield on the ensuing possession, but the Eagles only gained one first down, eventually turning the ball over when Rettig was sacked on fourth down.
The next time Boston College touched the ball, Te'o came away with a diving interception at the Notre Dame 43-yard line off a tipped pass, and the Irish held on from there.
Notre Dame gained 256 yards on three possessions in the first half and kept the chains moving by going 8-for-8 on third-down conversions.
Golson capped a 13-play, 95-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run midway through the opening quarter, and used his legs again by picking up nine yards on 3rd-and-8 at the Boston College 16. After the pickup, Golson hit Troy Niklas in the middle of the end zone for a 14-3 lead at the break.
Notre Dame's only other drive in the first half ended with George Atkinson III losing a fumble at the opposing 26-yard line.
The Eagles' only fruitful drive before halftime stalled when Rettig was sacked on third down, forcing Freese to come on for a 36-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.
Golson showed off his arm on the first possession out of the intermission, completing 5-of-7 attempts for 61 yards, including an across-the-field 18-yard toss to John Goodman in the end zone.
The Irish opened a season with 10 straight wins for the eighth time in school history ... Riddick led the Irish with 104 yards on 18 carries, while Boston College's Alex Amidon led all receivers with 84 yards on six catches ... Notre Dame, which converted 11-of-14 third-down tries, finished with 393 yards ... Nick Clancy, Boston College's leading tackler, left the game with an upper body injury in the first half and did not return ... Boston College offensive lineman Bobby Vardaro and Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III were both ejected following their shoving match late in the fourth quarter ... Notre Dame was awarded two trophies for its win against the only other Catholic University at the FBS level, capturing the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl trophy and the Ireland Trophy.