With the loss of a key member of the defense and questions still surrounding the play of the offense, we have five questions/points of interest for Irish fans to consider before Saturday's kick-off.
Question One:How will the Irish respond following the loss to USC?
If disappointment from last Saturday carries over to the field this week, the Irish will be in a heap of trouble against a Navy team that has nothing to lose and can gain yardage at an alarming rate.
Question Two:Could Navy embarrass Notre Dame again?
There is no mistake that last season's loss to the Midshipmen was an embarrassment to all involved. Another poor showing against Navy will have some questioning the path of the Irish defense.
Question Three:How many yards will Notre Dame give up to Navy?
Last season the Midshipmen rushed for 367 yards on 60 rushing attempts in their 35-17 victory over the Irish. Brian Kelly says he knows Navy will get their share of yards; however, they must stop them from scoring.
Question Four:How much will Notre Dame miss Kapron Lewis-Moore on Saturday against Navy?
The loss of Lewis-Moore for the season hurts more this weekend than any other game left on the schedule. Lewis-More is the Irish sixth-leading tackler (32) and considered the team's best defender against the option. In his place will be freshman Stephon Tuitt. The Irish will be young against Navy as Tuitt will be joined by two other freshmen in Chase Hounshell and Aaron Lynch as well as redshirt-freshman Louis Nix up front.
Question Five:Will the Irish running attack return after going AWOL last week?
While Brian Kelly likes to throw the football, his 2011 team has been very strong in the running game. Last week's 14-carry, 41-yard effort must not be repeated if the Irish are to use their advantages in skill and size against the Midshipmen.