Later this week we will be starting out full previews for the Mids opponents this fall. Along with this we will continue to look at how major national publications rank Navy and also look at opponent fan sites previews to see how other schools believe they match up against the Mids. One of the premier Notre Dame fan sites is One Foot Down and their run through of the Fighting Irish’s schedule has reached Navy. This is what they think.
The title of the Eric Murtaugh piece on the Navy offense is titled ‘An End of an Era’. From that you can probably guess that the focus of the article is on Navy losing Keenan Reynolds, along with 10 of 11 offensive starters, but Murtaugh is actually puts in perspective that while the Navy offense will certainly need to adjust Tago Smith is not some freshman being thrown into the line of fire. The fact that Smith rushed for almost 50-yards against Notre Dame last year, while leading two touchdown drives in the process, does make Irish fans more knowledgeable than most about what Smith will have to offer.
Focusing on the positives sees Murtaugh pick a trio of play makers heading into the season to build around on offense. Tago Smith as the quarterback and leading wide receiver Jamir Tillman are obvious (and correct) choices. The third player is Dishan Romine who didn’t start a single game in 2015, but who was the leading slot back with 378 yards on the season. If Navy is going to be able to produce offensively then Romine and the other experienced slot backs will have to pick up some of the slack while their quarterback and fullbacks get settled in the system.
Looking at the defensive side of the ball the article notes that Navy is as loaded with linebackers as any team in the country. This will be very important against a team like Notre Dame that can pass or run the ball effectively and that has a couple of quarterbacks that are among the best out there. The linebackers, and the defense in general, is going to have to step up even more to counter the projected, and expected, slight offensive decline.
The holes on offense are noted to be up front and in the secondary. The article seems to think that the Mids will be alright on the defensive line, mainly because despite the loss of Will Anthony there is plenty of production coming back in terms of disruption and sack numbers. The back end is where the concerns are, with Navy losing a couple of guys in the secondary without obvious replacements waiting in the wings.
Overall these two articles are a pretty fair indicator of where Navy is right now. The site sees positives for the Mids, but the amount of turnover, especially on offense, is obviously the key story here.