Everett Golson ran for a touchdown and threw for two more on Saturday night to help No. 4 Notre Dame beat Boston College 21-6 and keep its national championship hopes intact.
Taking the field one hour after top-ranked Alabama lost to No. 15 Texas A&M, the Fighting Irish (10-0) remained unbeaten and in the hunt for a spot in the BCS title game. And a week after needing triple overtime - and a lot of luck - to get past unheralded Pittsburgh, Notre Dame eased past a longtime rival that had twice before spoiled its hopes of a No. 1 finish.
Brian Kelly acknowledged after the game that the Irish knew the result of the Bama game, but said he isn't worried about the BCS Standings, which will likely slot Notre Dame 3rd behind Kansas State and Oregon.
"We are going to work on winning against Wake Forest and take care of what we can take care," Kelly said after the game. "When it's all said and done, we'll see where we are."
"We really can't waste any of our energy--we see how hard it is to win in college football. We can't worry about those things. We have to focus on what we can do and that's winning on the field. If people don't like us winning, I don't know what else to tell you."
Notre Dame went 95 yards for its longest scoring drive of the season to open the game. Golson capped the drive with his 5th rushing touchdown of the season to make it 7-0. That's the most rushing TD's by an Irish quarterback since 1999.
The Irish were 8-for-8 on 3rd down conversions in the 1st half, including an 8-yard from Golson for a first down in the final minute of the 2nd quarter. The Irish redshirt freshman completed the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Troy Niklas to make it 14-3 Notre Dame at the half. That drive went for 87 yards and last eight minutes and 30 seconds.
Golson completed 16 of 24 passes for 200 yards, also connecting with John Goodman for an 18 yard touchdown on the opening drive of the 3rd quarter.
"We were effective because our quarterback was effective tonight," Kelly explained.
Manti Te'o intercepted his 6th pass of the season, that's the most of any linebacker in Notre Dame history.
"We got frustrated at times--Manti kept guys under control," Kelly explained. "When you need a big play-he's going to be around the football."
Notre Dame returns home for its final home game of the season next Saturday at 3:30 against Wake Forest. The Demon Decons are 5-5.
The Irish wrap up the regular season at USC in two weeks.