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Notre Dame holds off Boston College

Nov 20, 2011 - 3:25 AM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Tommy Rees threw for 256 yards and Cierre Wood rushed for 94 yards, as the 24th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish ground out a 16-14 victory over the Boston College Eagles in their final home game of the season.

Senior back Jonas Gray rushed for 61 yards and a score in the win, but left in the third quarter with a knee injury.

"We've got him immobilized right now," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said after the game. "He'll get an MRI tomorrow and we'll know more on Monday."

The Fighting Irish (8-3), who have won eight of nine, limited Boston College to 250 total yards and got three field goals from David Ruffer.

Chase Rettig completed 18-of-38 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles (3-8), who were coming off a 14-10 win over NC State.

Josh Bordner and Bobby Swigert each scored a touchdown in the loss.

Notre Dame, playing its first game as a ranked team since suffering a season- opening loss to South Florida, opened the contest with an 80-yard touchdown drive.

Rees completed four consecutive passes during the march before Gray's 26-yard burst gave the Fighting Irish a 7-0 lead.

But the Irish would not cross the goal line again, instead leaning on the leg of Ruffer and a strong effort from the defense.

The senior kicker gave Irish a 10-0 lead with a 40-yard boot, while the defense forced the Eagles to punt on their first four possessions.

"[The] defense played very, very stout today, found a way to win," said Kelly.

BC finally broke through late in the second quarter, as Bordner capped a lengthy drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge to make it a 10-7 game.

Ruffer, though, responded with a 41-yarder for a 13-7 lead at the half.

Max Holloway's interception of Rees marked the only third-quarter possession for either team that didn't end in a punt and Ruffer's 27-yarder early in the fourth made it 16-7.

The Eagles, who have scored more than 19 points in only one game against an FBS opponent this season, finally emerged from their second-half slumber with a 72-yard scoring drive late in regulation.

A pass interference call on Zeke Motta set up a 1st-and-goal and Rettig hit Swigert two plays later for a seven-yard score.

"I just ran a corner route," said Swigert. "The safety was tight on me in the red zone. I almost lost it in the lights, but I caught it at the last second."

But the Irish recovered the ensuing onsides kick, sealing their fourth straight win.

They have already matched their win total from last year and close the season next Saturday at Stanford.

Game Notes

Notre Dame has won the last three meeting with Boston College...The Eagles close their season Friday at Miami...BC linebacker Luke Kuechly recorded 14 tackles. He has finished with double-digit tackles in 33 straight games.