Navy On Offense:
Notre Dame (1-7) and Navy (4-4) will meet for the 81st consecutive season this weekend. The Irish hold a 70-9-1 all-time record against the Midshipmen, and Notre Dame will be trying to extend their winning streak against Navy to 44 games.
Anticipated Depth Chart.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (5-11, 194 pounds) has carried the ball 130 times for 655 and 11 touchdowns. He averages 81.9 rushing yards per game and five yards a carry. Kaheaku-Enhada did start against the Irish last season, when Brian Hampton went down. Like most option quarterbacks, Kaheaku-Enhada isn't a greater passer, but he has very good speed and big play ability. He has touchdown runs of 78 and 80 yards this season. Kaheaku-Enhada has been slowed by a neck injury and has failed to finish Navy's last two contests. He leads Navy in both rushing and passing.
Jarod Bryant (5-10, 185 pounds) has carried the ball 55 times for 260 and 2 touchdowns. He averages 43.3 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards a carry. Bryant isn't a big-play quarterback, but there isn't much of a drop-off when he comes into the game. In fact, he nearly won the starting job this fall. He is considered a better passer than Kaheaku-Enhada and he runs the triple-option offense very well.
Reggie Campbell averages 37.2 yards per game and a hefty 7.1 yards per carry. He has nine receptions for 132 yards and three touchdowns (14.7 yards per catch). Campbell is small, but he is a dynamic athlete with sprinter speed. Every time he touches the ball, he has the chance to take it the distance.
Zerbin Singleton averages 27.6 yards a game and 6.1 yards a carry. He has good speed, he's an outstanding blocker and he has very good hands. Singleton has 9 catches for 162 yards (18.0 yards per reception).
The interesting thing about this year's version of the Navy offense is that the two fullbacks are two of the leading rushers on the team Eric Kettani is Navy's second leading rusher with 69.6 yards per game (5.6 per carry), while his backup, Adam Ballard, is third on the team in rushing yardage with 54 yards game (4.7 per carry).
Both are tough, powerful runners and very dependable.
The receivers aren't going to dominate, but they aren't asked to do so. All they need to do is make enough catches to keep the secondary from cheating on run support All the receivers have good size and they are good down field blockers, which is their main function. O.J. Washington is the best of the bunch. He average 23.9 yards per game and just over one catch.
Navy was expected to see some drop-off from last year's rushing numbers, but this group hasn't missed a beat. Although the offensive line is small, they will battle Notre Dame every play. Antron Harper is probably the best player up front, but McGinn and Meek have experience. This line is amazingly productive.
The Navy defense lost a number of key players from 2006, so the unit was expected to struggle at times. Unfortunately for Paul Johnson, the defense has been really bad at times. Part of the reason can be traced to graduation, but they also have had a key injuries to players they expected to step into the leadership roles. The Navy secondary has been hit the hardest. They're missing two starters and another player that they were counting on to make contributions. In their losses, the defense hasn't done much to stop the opponents offense. For a struggling Notre Dame offense, this could be the right team face at this juncture.
The defense has yielded 200 rushing yards five times this season. Over the past three games, the defense has given up 470 yards and 49 points a contest. To compound the issue, the defense isn't making plays behind the line or causing turnovers.
Anticipated Depth Chart.
Navy has had all kinds of trouble stopping the run this season and the trouble can probably be traced to the guys up front. It is difficult to run a '3-4' defense in college, but if you do, you need players that have size, and Navy's front three are small.
Kuhar-Pitters and Frazier were supposed to be the strength of the unit, but Walsh, a former linebacker, is the most productive player up front. There is absolutely no depth.
Like the defensive line, there isn't much experience. They aren't very big and there is no depth. Returning starter Clint Sovie was lost early in the season which added the to inexperience and depth issues. Spencer leads the defense in tackles with Wimsatt having the second most tackles. With a smallish front three this unit needs to make plays, but they only have a combined 14 TFLs on the season.
Senior captain, Jeff Deliz, corner back Ketric Buffin and safety Jesse Iwuji are out for the season. Buffin was having a great season with four interceptions in six games. He was about the only guy on the defense who was making plays on the ball. While Middleton is third on the team in tackles, both he and Carter were pressed into action. King is a very solid player, but there are just too many pieces to replace here.
Game Preview: Notre Dame vs Navy
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