Clausen shines late for Notre Dame


Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen continued his clutch play whenever his team is tied or losing in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three entering the final quarter, Clausen went 3-for-4, including the winning TD. It's an area he has improved in since last season; he now has six TDs in such situations. Here is a look at how Jimmy Clausen has fared in the fourth quarter this year and last year:


Boston College 25-year-old freshman QB Dave Shinskie struggled late in the game. Shinskie completed six of his final 11 passes, but three of them were to Notre Dame defenders. Here is a closer look at how he started and how he finished:


DON'T GUN IT TO GUNNELL: After throwing his lone TD of the game to WR Rich Gunnell at the end of the first half, Shinskie may have tried to force the ball to Gunnell in the second half. Shinskie targeted Gunnell 12 times in the second half, completing just five passes. On top of that, Gunnell was the targeted receiver on all three of Shinskie's interceptions.

IRISH HOLD DOWN HARRIS: One week removed from rushing for a school-record 264 yards and five TDs, Boston College RB Montel Harris was bottled up by the Notre Dame defense. It's a feat made more startling considering the Fighting Irish's run D was not exactly spectacular entering Saturday (136.5 rush yards per game; 63rd in nation). Harris, who entered as the second-leading rusher in the ACC with 108.0 rushing yards per game, rushed for just 38 yards on 22 carries, and was tackled for a loss six times.

CLAUSEN GETS IT RIGHT: Clausen's two passing TDs were the first of his career against Boston College. He also threw zero interceptions. In his previous two games against BC -- both losses -- Clausen had a combined six interceptions.

IRISH PLAYING TOO MANY CLOSE GAMES: These Notre Dame games really shouldn't be close. Over their past six games, the Irish have forced 12 turnovers, while committing just five. All six games have been decided by seven points or less.