Notre Dame at Navy Midshipmen: 5 Things to Know
The first of seven Top 25 rankings compiled by a 12-member selection committee was released Tuesday. The selection committee will ultimately pick the four teams to play in the national semifinals and set the matchups for the other four big New Year's Day bowls that are part of the playoff rotation.
And for obvious reasons, the Irish are banging on the door in hopes of entrance into 'the club'.
It will take some work, some losses from teams ahead of them and even some teams the Irish have already played improving.
Consideration of the loss to FSU will remain, but all erases itself if the Irish lose Saturday night.
5 Things To Know:
1. Notre Dame Must Stop The Run
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds will look to rack up the yards,control the clock and confuse the Irish front.
Defending the option is a tough task, but Notre Dame has some heavy hitters to man a front that will stop Navy.
The combination of Sheldon Day,Rochelle,Jones,Trumbetti and Okwara will be a bit much for the Middies to overcome, and should end up with little production versus what they've had to this point with their #2 overall rushing average in the nation.
During the FSU game, Jarron Jones had 3 tackles for a loss.
Notre Dame is coming off a stellar performance limiting Florida State to under 100 yards of rushing. The Irish are the 12th overall rusheing defense in the country, holding teams to an average of 102 yards a game.
2. The Irish Offense Should Thrive
On the year, Everett Golson has thrived throwing the ball-no matter who he has faced.
If Saturday is to be any indicator as to the mood of the team overall coming off the lone defeat on the year, the offense will be the sledge hammer to the pumpkin in regards to production and proving worth.
Will Fuller is an unstoppable receiver with 8 touchdowns on the year, and ranks 6th overall in the nation.
When wins and losses and outcomes were penciled in at the beginning of the season, many saw a couple of games where the Irish would rack of yards and points by the dozen.
This game will stamp the idea that Brian Kelly's offense can score some points. Now, will he poor it on versus a team of servicemen?
Notre Dame has scored at least 27 points in six of its first seven games. It is just the second time the Irish have accomplished this feat since 1993, joining the 2005 squad. Notre Dame's 1949 national championship team is the last to score at least 27 in each of its first seven games.
3. Kyle Brindza Will Have A Tired Leg
The Notre Dame career field goal record at 53 should amp up his number against Navy.
Perhaps one of the brightest spots all year for Notre Dame, outside of the rainfest against Stanford- Brindza made 2 crucial kicks against Florida State.
Much like Golson, Brindza has flourished on the big stage and nailing two 40+ yard kicks agaisnst FSU proved when Kelly needs some sure points, another option exists at any moment.
4. This Is A Rival
Notre Dame and Navy will play for the 88th straight year on Saturday, marking the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country. The Irish hold a 74-12-1 (.856) edge in the series. Notre Dame has won 47 of the last 50 meetings. Notre Dame and Navy have met every year since 1927, playing 54 times at neutral sites and 33 times at Notre Dame Stadium.
5. Notre Dame Will Win
No person needs to know the despair in recruiting when comparing these two teams.
While one school is acquiring blue chip student-athletes, the other is hauling in heartbreakers and life takers.
Navy 'wins' every year in that regard without debate.
But as soon as the opening kickoff insues, the Irish should take control of the game and launch their own attack of sorts on the scoreboard.
Through the air and ground, the Irish hold an overwhelming edge. And on the year, the Middies have played one solid game against Ohio State.
So Navy will present little competition outside of a potent quarterback.
This should be closed out by the 3rd quarter.