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Notre Dame looking to avoid previous pitfalls

The Fighting Irish had undefeated seasons spoiled twice by Boston College in the Holy War. Notre Dame isn't looking to the past as they prepare for the 2012 version of their rivalry with the Eagles.

Jonathan Daniel

The Holy War - the nickname given to the annual Notre Dame and Boston College football game - has been anything but for the Fighting Irish.

It was 19 years ago, in 1993, when Notre Dame knocked off top-ranked Florida State in South Bend, Ind., only to fall in tragic style to Boston College the following week. In 2002, the No. 4-ranked Irish fell to the Eagles, wrecking an undefeated season.

With the Eagles (2-7) hosting the Fighting Irish (9-0) Saturday, it may be difficult to avoid associating those upsets with the current chapter of their rivalry. But clearly, the two programs are on different ground now.

Notre Dame linebacker and captain Manti Te'o wasn't even two years old when Glenn Foley's Boston College squad knocked off Kevin McDougal's Irish in 1993. Te'o doesn't acknowledge what he doesn't know. He recently told CSN Chicago, "I don't know what happened in '02 and '93, so it doesn't really matter to me. What matters is what happens in 2012."

Te'o at least caught a glimpse of both legends as Pittsburgh took Notre Dame to triple overtime before slipping past the Panthers 29-26. The 26 points allowed were the most the Irish have given up this season.

The Eagles aren't as tough as those giant-slaying teams of the past two decades were, but neither was Pitt. If Te'o and the Irish know anything heading into the game Saturday, it's no team at this point in the season should be overlooked.