For Brian Kelly there is no place like home.

Back in his native new England, the Notre Dame coach gained the most important victory of his young career at the Fighting Irish with a comprehensive defeat of Boston College 31-13.

Now that not-so-jolly giant green leprechaun that has been perched on his shoulders can finally jump off .

Kelly is on his way to that pot o' gold.

And he did it with defense.

Yes, that 103rd out of 120th ranked defense stopped the Eagles in their tracks and held them to a combined 5 yards rushing.

That was after pre-game predictions has junior Montel Harris running amok on the Irish and ESPN comparing the Notre Dame defense to a high school one.

Harris got to run for 28 yards and ESPN got to eat crow-- lots of crow.

Brian Kelly's offense didn't do too bad either. They were 21-0 up after the first quarter, never let up and never allowed BC to come back.

Armando Allen's third quarter touchdown was a thing of beauty, offense as Kelly-coached teams play it, marching down the field with quarterback Dayne Crist in full control, seeing the field, mixing the run/pass options and ending up in the end zone.

Key wide receiver Michael Floyd, pictured above, had a great day too.

It is no exaggeration to say that this victory has turned around the season.

Looking back on the first five games we now see Notre Dame played AP ranked top 25 teams in three of them and lost two in a squeaker.

This is a good Notre Dame side that will improve dramatically from this win, which will give a surge of confidence to a side that desperately needed it.

The game plan against Boston was simple. Stop Montel Harris. With a rookie quarterback and an inexperienced back-up on the BC side Kelly knew the game came down to the ground battle.

For once everything seemed to work to perfection and the Irish game plan worked perfectly.

Not that things get any easier next week.

Pittsburgh's Ray Graham rushed for 277 yards yesterday against someone called Florida International and he's not even the starting running back with last year's rookie sensation Dion Lewis still in pole position according to coach Dave Wannstedt.

Graham came close to the legendary Tony Dorsett's best ever total but still may not be a starter.

That is another day's work but the schedule does lighten up considerably after Pitt and Notre Dame can look with confidence to a best case 8-4 season in my opinion.

And Brian Kelly can look forward to a very large leprechaun being removed from his shoulders.