Report Card: Navy vs. Notre Dame

It's in the record books now: Navy 23, Notre Dame 21. GoMids.com analyzes every element of the Mid's performance and assigns a grade to each area.


Navy
23

__


Notre Dame
21

AREA
GRADE
COMMENTS
PASSING OFFENSE
A
Navy only attempted two passes on the day but the passing game accomplished what it needed to for the Mids. Dobbs' third quarter 52-yard pass to Greg Jones put Navy back up by 14. Dobbs, who also completed a short pass to Gee Gee Greene, was sacked once.
RUSHING OFFENSE
A
Navy gained 348 yards and had no fumbles. Dobbs ran the offense flawlessly and gained 114 yards himself rushing. Fullback Vince Murray was virtually unstoppable gaining 158 yards on just 14 carries. The Mids offensive line deserves credit as well. They blocked well and made the avenues for the Navy runners.
PASSING DEFENSE
B-
The Mids defense played well against the Irish. Although Jimmy Clausen passed for 458 yards, he got most of that late in the second half when the Irish were in desperation mode. Ram Vela's third quarter interception at the Navy 5 was one of the biggest plays of the game. The Mids were also able to sack Clausen twice including once for a safety which turned out to be the difference in the game.
RUSHING DEFENSE
A
Navy held the Notre Dame offense to only 60 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Perhaps the biggest play of the game was late in the third quarter when Clausen attempted to run the ball into the end zone which would have pulled the Irish back to within a touchdown. However, Navy cornerback Kevin Edwards had other ideas and leveled Clausen, forcing a fumble at the Navy 1 which Wyatt Middleton recovered.
SPECIAL TEAMS
B
Joe Buckley missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Kyle Delahooke looked solid punting 5 punts for a 46 yard average including one that went 55 yards. There was nothing extraordinary in either team's returns games.
COACHING
A
Ken Niumatalolo gave all the credit to his players after the game, however, Navy was the aggressor throughout the game and when Notre Dame showed some signs of momentum the Mids would answer and hang on to their edge in momentum. This can be attributed to outstanding coaching. Through great coaching the Mids were able to accomplish feats like the Vela interception, the Edwards forced fumble on the one and the Craig Schaefer sack for a safety.
OVERALL GRADE
A-
This win was much bigger than the one Navy won on the same field in 2007. That Notre Dame team was horrible while the current Irish squad was in contention for a BCS bowl. Now the Mids must get the minds on the next game: The Delaware Blue Hens. Delaware is a team that shocked Navy in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium a couple years ago and a team that would love to do it again just as the Mids enjoyed beating the Irish again.

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