Player of the week

Prince Shembo's huge Saturday at Boston College earned the linebacker the game ball, along with FBS independent defensive player of the week honors.

Today, it earns him Notre Dame player of the week honors from us.

Shembo has been overshadowed throughout the season by big names and bigger plays by Manti Te'o and Stephon Tuitt. Playing alongside a Heisman Trophy candidate will often do that to you.

At Alumni Stadium, the numbers validated the work and production.

Shembo recorded three sacks, finished with four tackles for loss in total and had a fumble recovery. He had five total tackles and he helped the Irish's defense keep Boston College out of the end zone for the first time this season.

The three sacks were the most by an Irish player since Victor Abiamiri notched three Oct. 7, 2006, against Stanford.

The Eagles, like many of Notre Dame's late-season opponents, were presenting new looks to a defense that has passed every test it has faced so far. The Irish can cross another one off the list after Week 11, and the 21-6 win also gives them another distinction: the nation's No. 1 scoring defense (11.1 ppg).