Notre Dame Football: Kuechly breaks ACC tackles record
Still, BC coach Frank Spaziani has an opinion on his junior linebacker. Admittedly it’s a biased opinion, but it’s a strong opinion nonetheless.
“I think he’s the best football player in the country,” Spaziani said late Saturday, after Kuechly had recorded a workmanlike 14 tackles in Notre Dame’s 16-14 victory over BC at Notre Dame Stadium.
Kuechly’s 14 stops on Saturday now places the junior one tackle shy of the school record, which former BC standout Steven Boyd set in four years at the school. Kuechly now has 523 career tackles. He has now registered 10 or more tackles in 34 of the 37 games he’s played for the Eagles.
Kuechly in the second quarter became the ACC’s all-time leading tackler. His 516th career tackle broke the mark set by Clemson’s Bubba Brown, who played from 1976-79. Boston College joined the ACC in 2005.
Kuechly is in the running for a number of defensive awards and is in the running for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the collegiate player of the year.
“You’ve got to look at where I’m coming from but he’s just a great football player and there were a lot of great football players on that field,” Spaziani said. “Week in, week out, play in, play out, he shows up.”
Slow out of the gates
The Eagles had been outscored 239-166 this season, but the first quarter has not been the culprit.
Entering Saturday, Boston College was outscoring opponents 47-43 in the opening period this season. On Saturday, however, the Irish won the first quarter, 10-0.
The fourth quarter was a different story. Opponents held an 82-38 advantage over the Eagles entering Saturday's game. Boston College outscored the Irish 7-3 in the final 15 minutes.
The Eagles’ Donnie Fletcher was involved in a couple of key early plays.
He was assessed a personal foul after the first play from scrimmage, a Jonas Gray two-yard run. The penalty moved the ball to the ND 37 and the Irish later scored on the drive.
On Notre Dame’s next drive, Fletcher dropped a Tommy Rees pass in the end zone intended for Tyler Eifert. ND’s David Ruffer later kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Irish a 10-0 lead.
Fletcher finished with six tackles.
Five Eagles have suffered season-ending injuries, but the most notable was senior running back Montel Harris.
Harris, the preseason ACC Player of the Year, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in August and missed the first three games of the season. He returned on Sept. 24 and a week later ran for 108 yards, and in the process became BC's all-time leading rusher.
But he was "deactivated" on Oct. 5 and hasn't played since. On Oct. 9, the school announced that Harris will seek a fifth year of eligibility.
Former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers was hired in the offseason to serve the same capacity at Boston College this season.
Rogers, however, took a medical leave of absence after the second game of the season and has not returned.
Staff writer Bob Wieneke: