“I didn’t know that,” Kelly joked with reporters this week. “But I do now, and I’ll put that in the history bank of more information that I have that I won’t use.”
One Notre Dame player who is already familiar with the history is center Braxston Cave, who grew up as a Notre Dame fan in nearby Mishawaka, Ind., and is named after former Notre Dame fullback Braxston Banks. He said that when Boston College ended Notre Dame’s 8-0 start in 2002 he was so angry he threw something through a window.
“I remember watching it as a kid, the upset,” he said. “But it’s a new team, new players, and we’re going out there and get things done.”
Banks doesn’t hear much about it these days, except when fans bring it up on Twitter or when he hears the comments from people in Boston.
“There’s a lot of name-calling that goes back with Notre Dame and Boston College,” he said. “(It’s) mostly among fans. But a lot of guys, especially BC, look forward to playing Notre Dame because we’re just one of those teams on their schedule. But just like every team, we know they’re going to get up for this game.”
Kelly has said he doesn’t talk to his team about the history between the two teams, in part because he expects every team to relish the chance to beat Notre Dame.
And that’s what he’s seen so far this season.
The Irish beat Brigham Young 17-14 on Oct. 20 after Riley Nelson missed a wide-open receiver on what would have been the go-ahead touchdown. A week earlier, Notre Dame stopped Stanford on four goal-line stands in overtime to win 20-13 — even though the Cardinal appeared to have scored on fourth down, and perhaps third down as well.