Anna Hickey -- Recruiting ReporterNavy will be anything but a trap game for Notre Dame. Focus will be present for three reasons:
-- It's the team's first since suffering a loss in Tallahassee
-- They're reenergized after a bye (the second of the year), and...
-- The Midshipmen's triple-option requires a particular focus for four quarters.
The Irish defense will get beat a few times by quarterback Keenan Reynolds and Navy's impressive duo of fullbacks, but it won't be enough to outscore the irish in the end. Expect to see a clean game from Notre Dame's offense.
Notre Dame 32 Navy 18
SeattleNDFan -- ModeratorThis year's Notre Dame defense seems ideally suited to shut down the Navy precision option attack, with speedy and lean linebackers and safeties, and solid tackling corners who can handle Navy's wideouts one-on-one, even with Navy's dual threat QB Keenan Reynolds finally healthy.
On defense, this Navy team should not be able to stop the Irish offense any better than in years past, especially with the added element of a QB with mobility and a big arm.
Because of the beauty pageant nature of college football and the unexpectedly low #10 ranking the Irish start the playoff chase with, all of the above likely means a borderline disrespectful score this Saturday at FedEx Field.
Notre Dame 52 Navy 17
GaviND -- ModeratorNotre Dame travels to the nation's capitol Saturday night to take on the United States Naval Academy. This weekend's affair marks the 88th meeting between the two teams in what amounts to the most important rivalry in Irish football history.
Coming off the heels of a devastating loss at FSU and the bye week that followed, I expect the Irish to come out of the gate refocused, flying to the ball, and looking for blood. And they will get it.
Unlike far too many battles between these two rivals, I expect Everett Golson and company to gain an early lead and force Navy to alter their game plan. Expect big running days from both Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston as the Irish roll.
ND 56 Navy 17
KurzND -- ModeratorAs a result of a No. 10 ranking from the Selection Committee's initial poll, Notre Dame is going to need some help and style points to move into playoff contention. Saturday is their best chance to put on a show.
It will be interesting to see how Brian VanGorder's defense plays as the Irish are much faster than Navy laterally, yet still big up front with Jarron Jones, Sheldon Day, Isaac Rochell, and Daniel Cage. I expect Navy to move down the field on its first drive but that will be all they get. As long as the Irish DBs and LBs remain disciplined, ND will contain Navy and prevent big plays. Look for Elijah Shumate and Matthias Farley to do a lot of damage, as well as Jaylon Smith getting a chance to show off his athleticism.
If Navy has success versus ND's defense they will not be able to overcome the Irish offense. The offensive line has found its footing and Tarean Folston has taken over as the go-to back. ND will run on Navy at will and Everett Golson will (ideally) throw 20 passes tops. Two Irish backs go for over 100 yards.
Notre Dame 55 Navy 17
BNolan -- Moderator: I'm still p-o'd about the last game, but... the Navy ship is heading into port. The Mid's will, as always, play tough and pesky and inspire expletives. ND has more talent and speed than most prior years, so a well-planned defensive scheme (love me some BVG) should result in an Irish victory. It won't necessarily be easy, but the Irish should be untested. ND 37 Navy 17
Morrissey79 -- Moderator: Text
Amruther24 -- Moderator: text