Preview: Notre Dame vs Navy

Notre Dame and Navy renew their rivalry this weekend.

#10 Notre Dame vs. Navy
Fighting Irish   Midshipmen
Saturday, November 28th
M & T Bank Ball Park, Baltimore MD.
12:00 EST


Navy On Offense:

Navy Offense '05 Rank Per Game ND Defense '05 Rank Per Game
Rushing Offense #2 316.57 Rushing Defense #44 119.29
Pass Offense #119 53.57 Pass Defense #78 213.43
Pass Eff. Offense #37 87.12 Pass Eff. Defense #34 139.61
Total Offense #118 370.14 Total Defense #61 332.7
Scoring Offense #53 24.86 Scoring Defense #65 22.71

Navy runs the triple option on offense and head coach Paul Johnson teaches this offense better than anyone in the country. It isn't sexy, but under Johnson the Midshipmen have been scoring a lot of points. Nearly all the yardage gained comes on the ground. Navy runs the ball on 85 percent of it's offensive plays. 

Navy was dealt a huge blow against Rutgers in game seven when starting quarterback Brian Hampton was lost for the season. Hampton had been leading the team in rushing (646 yards) and touchdowns (10). His replacement has been sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. Kaheaku-Enhada struggled to get the offense churning against Rutgers as they rushed for a season low 115 yards on 50 carries.

Adam Ballard, Reggie Campbell and Zerbin Singleton will work out of the backfield with Ballard getting the bulk of the carries. Both Campbell and Singleton are smaller backs that can catch the ball. 

The wide receivers will be on the field, but unless Navy gets down big, these guys will be attempting to block the Notre Dame defensive backs. O.J. Washington, Jason Tomlinson, and Tyree Barnes have combined to catch 13 balls on the year.  The offensive line is very experience with four starters returning from the 2005 season. The left side of the line has some size. Tackle Matt Pritchett (290 pounds) and left guard Zach Gallion (315 pounds) have the size to battle most defensive lineman, but the right side of the Navy line is very small. Center James Rossi (269 pounds), right guard Antron Harper (257 pounds), and right tackle Josh Meek (260 pounds) are effective, but they will have trouble against Notre Dame's defensive front.

Anticipated Depth Chart.

  QB Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada So. 5-11/188 41-87/ 1TDs
  Jarod Bryant So. 5-10/187 4-8/ 0 TDs

Brian Hampton had the Navy offense working very well, so Kaheaku-Enhada has huge shoes to fill. His lack of game experience will probably be a factor at some point in this game. If Kaheaku-Enhada can't get the offense moving, Paul Johnson may call on Jarod Bryant, but Bryant has even less experience than Kaheaku-Enhada.


  Slot RB Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Reggie Campbell  Jr. 5-6/165 44-399/ 4TDs
  Shun White So. 5-9/ 187 17-175 2TD
  Greg Shinego So. 5-9/182 1- 13/ 0TDs

Reggie Campbell is very small so it's difficult for him to carry the ball often on the interior. He's averaging an impressive 9.1 yards per carry. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, so Johnson might want to match him up with one of the Irish linebackers.


  Slot RB Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Zerbin Singleton Jr. 5-8/164 12-59/ 0TDs
  Trey Hines So. 5-9/ 208 4-44/ 0TD
  Byron McCoy Sr. 5-10/181 4- (-5)/ 0TDs

Zerbin Singleton is the other slot back, and he isn't much bigger than Campbell. Singleton will get the ball from time to time, but he won't carry the load for Navy.


  FB Hgt/Wgt Recpts-Yards
  Adam Ballard Jr. 6-1/223 104 - 597/ 1TDS
  Eric Kettani So. 6-1/220 2-6/ 0TDs

Ballard has good size and he's a productive runner (5.7 yards per carry). He's second on the team in carries and in rushing yards. 

  WR Hgt/Wgt Stats
  OJ Washington Jr. 5-10/188  2 rcpts/ 40 yards/ 1TDs
  Jason Tomlinson So. 6-1/208  8 rcpts/ 86 yards/ 0 TDs
  Tyree Barnes So. 6-2/200  3 rcpts/35 yards/0 TD
  Curtis Sharp So. 6-4/237  - -

The receivers are more athletic than Navy has had in the past, but they will only throw the ball when they have to. Still, the Irish secondary needs to stay alert because Johnson will try to surprise the Irish defense.


  Offensive Line Hgt/Wgt Experience
  LT Matt Pritchett Sr. 6-2/290 31 Starts
  LG Zach Gallion Sr. 6-2/315 31 starts
  C James Rossi Sr. 6-1/269 20 Starts
  RG Antron Harper Jr. 5-11/257 32 Starts
  RT Josh Meek Jr. 6-1/260  7 Starts

This line helped Navy to 239 yards rushing against this Irish in 2005. They are an experienced group with Meek being the only newcomer. Because they don't have the size to go right at Notre Dame, they'll cut the Irish linemen all day. The Irish defensive line needs to stay on their feet and honor their responsibility. 

Navy On Defense:

Navy Defense '05 Rank Per Game ND Offense '05 Rank Per Game
Rushing Defense #57 128.86 Rushing Offense #99 97.43
Pass Defense #81 219.29 Pass Offense #12 277.86
Pass Eff. Defense #74 129.67 Pass Eff. Offense #34 139.61
Total Defense #77 348.14 Total Offense #34 375.29
Scoring Defense #53 20.57 Scoring Offense #33 28.86

For the most part the Navy defense has played well and then everything seemed to cave in against Rutgers. They do have a new "3-4" look, and they do have a lot of experience in the front seven. The defense will attempt to keep everything in front of them and make the Irish offense drive the length of the field for scores. 

Tye Adams, Larry Cylc and John Chan are the men up front. Cylc is the biggest of the group at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds. He's the anchor in the middle at nose guard. Chan is the leading tackler among the defensive linemen with 33 stops.

The four linebackers are David Mahoney, Rob Caldwell, Irv Spencer and Tyler Tidwell. They have a lot of experience and they have very good size. Caldwell (60) and Mahoney (55) lead the team in tackles.

Keenan Little, and Jeremy McGown return as starters in the secondary. Rashawn King and Jeromy Miles are both learning on the job this season and they will be tested on Saturday.

Key mach-ups:  The Irish offensive line against the front three of Navy. Notre Dame needs to show that they can run the ball consistently. Navy is a team Notre Dame should have success against.

Anticipated Depth Chart. 

  Defensive Line Hgt/Wgt Stats
  DE Tye Adams Sr. 6-3/225 22 tackles/ 1 TFL
  NG Larry Cylc Sr. 6-2/280 10 tackles/ 0.5 TFL
  DE John Chan Sr. 6-1/249 33 tackles/ 4 sacks

Generally a "3-4" defense has bigger players up front, so it will be interesting to see how this group performs. Chan is tied for the team lead in sacks with four. He also has an impressive 33 tackles through seven games. 


  Linebackers Hgt/Wgt Stats
  OLB David Mahoney Sr. 5-9/219 55 tackles/ 6.5TFL
  ILB Rob Caldwell Sr. 6-0/229 60 tackles/ 3.5TFL
  ILB Irv Spencer Jr. 6-1/227 12 tackles 
  OLB Tyler Tidwell Sr. 6-2/224 30 tackles/ 2.5 TFL

Simply put, Mahoney makes a lot of plays. He's a fun player to watch because he's always around the ball.  He is starting for the third consecutive season. Last season against Notre Dame he was all over the field as he registered 14 tackles. He's second on the team in tackle with 55 stops.

Caldwell is another returning starter and he leads the team in tackles with 60. Last season he finished with an amazing 140 tackles on the season. 


  Defensive Backs Hgt/Wgt Stats
  CB Rashawn King So. 6-0/185 34 tackles/ 1 TFL
  CB Keenan Little Sr. 5-9/195 22 tackles/ 2.5 TFL
  FS Jeremy McGown Sr. 5-11/189 33 tackles/ 2 INT
  SS Jeromy Miles Fr. 6-2/189 29 tackles/ 2.5 TFL

This group has to keep everything in front of them. McGown and Little are have experience and they will need it to slow down Samardzija and McKnight. 

Final Thought - Notre Dame has yet to put an entire four quarters together. This is a team they should dominate, but we'll have to see if that happens. Top Stories