Notre Dame vs. Navy Preview

Tarean Folston (25) in action during a football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Temple Owls, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Temple Owls by the score of 28-6. (Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
Tarean Folston (25) in action during a football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Temple Owls, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Temple Owls by the score of 28-6. (Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame QB’s: Tommy Rees is coming off a very impressive performance in the win over Air Force, he threw a career-high 5 touchdown passes to 5 different receivers (a school record). On the season, he has a 55.3 completion percentage in 8 games while throwing for 1,944 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Andrew Hendrix received a good amount of (and valuable at that) playing time to close out the win the over Air Force. He had a 47 yard completion and ran in a touchdown on the following play, most notably. He has completed 2 of 14 passes (14.3 completion percentage) for 56 yards and has 26 rushing yards with 1 touchdown.

Notre Dame QB’s vs. Navy Pass Defense: The Midshipmen come in ranked 21st in pass defense, but those numbers could be seen as inflated due to playing run-based teams like Air Force (124th out of 125th in the nation in passing yards per game) and Toledo (106th in the nation in passing yards per game). Navy is allowing just 204.4 passing yards per game in 7 games this season, and have allowed 11 passing touchdowns and 7 interceptions. However, opposing teams have been extremely accurate as Navy is allowing opponents to complete 69.7 percent of their passes (3rd worst in the nation), and with Tommy Rees coming off a very accurate game against Air Force, look for Tommy Rees to continue with a solid performance and for him to continue to spread the ball around to his talented receiving unit.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy QB’s: Keenan Reynolds is in his second year as a starter for Navy and is the leading rusher on top of his passing numbers. He has completed 52.7 percent of his passes for 667 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. On the ground he leads the Midshipmen with 546 rushing yards on 147 attempts with an impressive 11 rushing touchdowns (He had 10 rushing touchdowns in 2012), with only an average of 3.7 yards per rush. John Hendrick has appeared in 2 games with 60 passing yards on 6 completions out of 15 overall with 2 interceptions. His rushing numbers are 60 yards on 13 carries (4.6 yard average) with 1 touchdown.

Navy QB’s vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense: The Irish come in ranked 46th in the nation and are allowing 220.4 passing yards per game with 13 passing touchdowns allowed and 6 interceptions. Opposing teams have been solid in completing passes against the Irish with 60.1 percent of passes completed. Stopping Keenan Reynolds on the ground is as important as stopping him in the air. If the Irish can force him into incompletions and not allow any long passes to be completed (4 different players have long receptions of 63, 61, 58, and 47 yards) while keeping him out of the end zone on the ground, then the Irish will have effectively contained him, as those are his strengths. Notre Dame did a great job in keeping Air Force’s option offense out of the end zone with only 1 touchdown allowed all game and that was just on Air Force’s opening drive.

Edge: Even

Notre Dame RB’s: Cam McDaniel leads the Irish with 417 rushing yards on 91 carries with 2 rushing touchdowns and a 4.6 yard average per rush. George Atkinson III has 381 rushing yards on 70 attempts with 2 rushing touchdowns as well with 5.4 yards per rush. Amir Carlisle has 44 carries for 193 rushing yards and averages 4.4 yards per rush. Tarean Folston was able to get extensive amounts of playing time and has 22 attempts for 116 rushing yards and averages 5.3 yards per rush this season.

Notre Dame RB’s vs. Navy Rush Defense: The Midshipmen are ranked 90th in run defense and are allowing 187.9 rushing yards per game and 10 rushing touchdowns, while opponents average 4.7 yards per rush. The Irish should be able to get a solid amount of yards on the ground and use multiple running backs accordingly.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy RB’s: While Keenan Reynolds carries the load on the ground in terms of quarterbacks, the next leading rusher for Navy is Chris Swain. He has 284 rushing yards on 76 attempts with 3 touchdowns and just 3.7 yards per rush. Noah Copeland has 226 rushing yards on 53 attempts and averages 4.3 yards per rush with 1 touchdown. Marcus Thomas has 208 rushing yards on 18 carries with an average of 11.6 yards per rush, while in terms of receiving he has 3 catches for 69 yards (23.0 yard average) and 1 touchdown. DeBrandon Sanders has 208 rushing yards as well on 26 attempts with an 8.0 yard average. He also is the teams leading receiver with 9 catches for 176 yards and 1 touchdown, along with a 19.6 yard average. Geoffrey Whiteside has 183 rushing yards on 21 attempts with 3 rushing touchdowns and averages 8.7 yards per rush. Whiteside is also the teams 3rd leading receiver with 3 catches for 89 yards with a 29.7 yard average to go with it. Darius Staten has 175 rushing yards on 18 attempts to average 9.7 yards per carry with 2 rushing touchdowns.

Navy RB’s vs. Notre Dame Rush Defense: The Irish come in ranked 42nd in run defense and are currently allowing 144.1 rushing yards per game and have allowed 5 rushing touchdowns and for opponents to average 4.0 yards per rush. The Irish have been solid against the run this season and with the benefit in playing consecutive games against option offenses, should help in making adjustments as needed.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame WR’s and TE’s: This has been one of the strongest areas on the team with TJ Jones leading the way and could potentially finish the season with a 1,000+ receiving yards. TJ Jones leads with 44 receptions for 631 receiving yards with 6 touchdowns (all team leads) with 14.3 yards per reception. DaVaris Daniels has 30 catches for 463 receiving yards with 15.4 yards per catch and 4 touchdowns. Troy Niklas leads an impressive tight end unit with 20 catches for 328 yards with 5 touchdowns and a 16.4 yard average per catch, while Ben Koyack has 3 catches for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns, and averages 16.0 yards per catch. Chris Brown has 9 catches for 148 yards and 1 touchdown, and averages 16.4 yards per catch. William Fuller has 5 catches for 146 yards and 1 touchdown, and a team-leading 29.2 yards per catch, while Corey Robinson has 5 catches for 101 yards with 1 touchdown and 20.2 yards per catch.

Notre Dame WR’s vs. Navy DB’s: The Midshipmen face what is easily the most talented receiving unit and one that is quite deep at that. Tommy Rees did an amazing job in spreading the ball around against Air Force and multiple players had their first career touchdown as well. With the freshmen receivers continuing to develop and showing strong performances, it gives the Irish depth. In addition, the Irish have 5 players who have caught a pass of 40 or more yards, so the Irish are strong in the deep ball as well.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy WR’s and TE’s: The receivers for Navy this season haven’t caught too many passes with the 2nd leading receiver being Casey Bolena has 8 catches for 97 yards and a 12.1 yard average, while Matt Aiken has 4 receptions for 56 yards for a 14.0 yard average. Shawn Lynch has 3 catches for 46 yards and 1 touchdown with a 15.3 yard average.

Navy WR’s vs. Notre Dame DB’s: With the Midshipmen not throwing it much to the receivers, the Irish will need to keep an eye on the backs on the ground as they have made quite a few plays through the air this season. The Irish secondary will likely follow a similar game plan to what was used against Air Force this season as it worked well, but regardless, the Irish need to worry about the backs that are able to catch the ball and get long passes from that in the passing game.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame OL: The Notre Dame offensive line took a hit just prior to the Air Force game with Christian Lombard being out for the season due to injury. The status of Chris Watt at this time is probable, so it is likely that he will play for the Irish against Navy. In terms of run blocking, the Irish are averaging 4.1 yards per rush and 135.9 yards per game. Pass blocking has been solid with only 7 sacks allowed and just 12 quarterback hurries. The Irish have let opponents get into the backfield with 39 tackles for loss allowed.

Notre Dame OL vs. Navy DL: Navy has had trouble in getting to opposing quarterbacks this season as they have just 6 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. In addition to that, they also have 24 tackles for loss as well. The Irish had some injury issues during the Air Force game, but were able to make good use of backups and get solid playing time to all of them. As long as the Irish continue to keep Tommy Rees protected and make sure things go well in the running game, they should be fine.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy OL: Navy has been great in run blocking with an average of 292.1 rushing yards per game and the average rush being 5.0 yards. They have allowed 24 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries on the season as well.

Navy OL vs. Notre Dame DL: The Irish could potentially be down 2 starting lineman in Louis Nix III and Sheldon Day. Nix could likely be held out this game before returning for the following game against Pittsburgh, while Sheldon Day is probable. Day will likely still play despite injury. The Irish have 12 sacks and 25 quarterback hurries this season. Getting into the opposing backfield has not been an issue with 42 tackles for loss in total. The Irish were able to use backups accordingly and did well, including preventing Air Force from scoring in the 2nd half.

Edge: Even

Notre Dame DL: Louis Nix III remains questionable for the Irish this week after being out against Air Force. On the season he has 22 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 pass breakups. Stephon Tuitt has 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 1 interception (returned for touchdown), 1 pass breakup, 9 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Kona Schwenke has been a major part in filling in for the injured starters this season and has played inside and outside on the defensive line for the Irish and has 8 tackles and 1 quarterback hurry. Sheldon Day has 10 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, while Issac Rochell has 7 tackles this season. Depth issues have been a major concern for the Irish as they had two players be injured and out for the season before the season even started and have had two starters miss games this season.

Notre Dame DL vs. Navy OL: With the status of Louis Nix III up in the air and Sheldon Day being probable, the Irish could be having some big depth issues in this case. Fortunately, a good amount of backups were able to play and Kona Schwenke has seen the option offense before since he has been with the program for many years.

Edge: Even

Navy DL: Defensive linemen for Navy have had difficulty in getting to opposing quarterbacks, as amongst the teams total of 6 sacks that only 1 is accounted for by a player on the defensive line. Paul Quessenberry has 20 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hurries, and 1 fumble recovery for Navy. Will Anthony has 15 tackles, Evan Palelei has 13 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble, and Bernard Sarra has 13 tackles.

Navy DL vs. Notre Dame OL: The Irish should be able to keep Tommy Rees well protected against Navy with the difficulty they have in getting to the quarterbacks. This is regardless of if Chris Watt is able to play, as he currently is probable at this point. The Irish were able to play backups last weekend and that will help in the long run whenever Notre Dame plays teams with option offenses.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame LB’s: Carlo Calabrese leads the Irish in tackles with 55 total and in addition to that has 5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery. Dan Fox has 49 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), and 1 fumble recovery. Jaylon Smith continues to have a strong freshman season with 39 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble. Prince Shembo has 26 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 9 quarterback hurries. Ishaq Williams is out this weekend due to injury, which gives more time for backups to get in and get more playing time as they did last weekend. Kendall Moore in particular got a lot of time in and played well against Air Force.

Notre Dame LB’s vs. Navy: The linebackers will need to continue with strong run support and Jaylon Smith has been quite a strength for the Irish linebacker unit. He had a very impressive performance against Air Force and should be able to continue that against another option offense team like Navy. The linebackers need to focus on Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds as much as focusing on the other members of the ground game.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy LB’s: Cody Peterson leads the Midshipmen in tackles with a total of 72 overall. He also has 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback hurry. DJ Sargenti has 55 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 1pass breakup, 3 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Chris Johnson has 48 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and 2 pass breakups. William Tuider has 23 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 3 quarterback hurries. Jordan Drake has 22 tackles, and 1 pass breakup, while Obi Uzoma has 14 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.

Navy LB’s vs. Notre Dame: Navy will have an improving run game of Notre Dame to account for, and also has tight ends to worry about. While Troy Niklas is the starter and is having a strong season, Ben Koyack has been solid at contributing, especially in the red zone. This gives a solid linebacker unit of Navy a lot to worry about on Defense.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame DB’s: Bennett Jackson has 46 tackles this season to put him at third overall on the team, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), 2 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, and 1 forced fumble. KeiVarae Russell had a very impressive game against Air Force and has 32 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 5 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery. Matthias Farley has 30 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions, and 2 pass breakups. Austin Collinsworth has 21 tackles and 2 quarterback hurries, while Cole Luke has 13 tackles and 1 pass breakup. Elijah Shumate was out against Air Force and likely could out for Navy as well.

Notre Dame DB’s vs. Navy WR’s: Navy utilizes players in the ground game a decent amount in the receiving game and since the actual receivers of Navy don’t see a lot of passes caught their way, this means that the Irish will need to focus on both. The Irish likely will follow a similar game plan against Navy as they did against Air Force.

Edge: Notre Dame

Navy DB’s: Parrish Gaines has 34 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 2 pass breakups. Chris Ferguson has 29 tackles and 1 tackle for loss, while Brendon Clements has 27 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups. Lonnie Richardson has 22 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble, while Wave Ryder has 20 tackles and 1 interception.

Navy DB’s vs. Notre Dame WR’s: Navy faces a receiving unit that is coming off a strong game and is easily the best receiving unit they face all season. Parrish Gaines will likely be covering TJ Jones, who is having a strong senior season potentially could be a 1,000 yard receiver as well. If Tommy Rees continues to spread the ball as well as he has been lately, it could be over quick for the Midshipmen.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Kicking Game: Kyle Brindza is 9 of 13 this season in field goals with a long of 53 yards. He is 2 of 2 when it is 50 or more yards, but has had 1 kick blocked this season. Kyle Brindza is averaging 40.8 yards per punt on 31 punts with a long of 55 yards. He also has 2 touchbacks, 10 fair caught, 5 inside the 20, 6 of 50 or more yards, and 1 blocked. Alex Wulfeck has 7 punts with an average of 33.7 yards with a long of 59 yards. He also has 1 touchback, 3 fair caught, and 6 inside the 20. Brindza is averaging 64.4 yards per kickoff on 45 touchbacks with 28 touchbacks.

Navy Kicking Game: Nick Sloan is 5 of 8 on field goals with a long of 40 yards this season. Pablo Beltran averages 42.7 yards per punt on 24 punts with a long of 62. He has 3 touchbacks, 6 fair caught, and 8 inside the 20. Austin Grebe is averaging 63.1 yards per kickoff on 36 kickoffs and has 12 touchbacks.

Stronger Unit: Even

Notre Dame Return Game: George Atkinson III is averaging 27.3 yards per return on 16 kickoffs for a total of 437 return yards and a long of 50 yards. Cam McDaniel has 5 returns for 83 yards and averages 16.6 yards per return with a long of 22 yards. TJ Jones has 8 returns for 76 yards with a 9.5 yard average and a long of 27 yards.

Navy Return Game: Marcus Thomas averages 20.8 yards per return on 11 kickoffs with a total of 229 yards on kickoffs returns with a long of 30 yards. Three other players have returned at least 1 kickoff with the longest going for 28 yards. Shawn Lynch averages just 5.3 yards per punt return on 7 punts for a total of 37 yards and a long of 16 yards.

Stronger Unit: Notre Dame

Everything Else: The Irish are coming off a blowout win over Air Force that allowed for backups to get a considerable amount of playing time and with the benefit of back-to-back games against option offenses, that helps even more. Navy has been a couple of close games lately with a double overtime loss to Toledo, and a close win over Pittsburgh this season. Tommy Rees had the best game of his career against Air Force and with the receiving unit continuing to get stronger and deeper should allow the Irish to have a strong effort in the air. The running game will need to do the same to help give the Irish a balanced offense. Scoring on every possession is always important, especially when facing Navy.

Prediction: Notre Dame 42, Navy 16

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138 Comments

  1. Navy just scored again too! Has anyone ever seen Diaco and LeBeau together. Perhaps they’re the same person.

    You love your mommy that much to call her a MILF?! Now that’s really Freudian, little Ronnie! You fantasize about mommy dearest and the Cubs at the same time or seperately? Wow. That’s as sick a Woody’s boner comment.

    Thanks for the obscure Layden NC factoid. Not that it counts for anything. But I’m sure that there’s going to be a Leyden monument soon at Rockne Stadium. Or perhaps ND will just rename its stadium after Elmer himself.

    Keep it coming, Ronnie “Mommie Dearest”.

  2. Ronnie “Mommie Dearest”,

    I have no angst over the Steelers. They’re crap. I know they’re crap. Unlike delusional ND fans, most Steelers’ fans know crap when they see it, and call it out for what it is. Plus, unlike ND, the Stillers have given their fans two titles. That’s two more titles than ND has in a quarter of a century, Ronnie “Mommy Dearest.”

    The problem with the Steelers was giving Mike “Affirmative Action” Tomlin a job he was unworthy of, just because he’s black. Like ND did with Ty Willingham after the O’Leary debacle. See the results of such a stupid policy? Now that Cowher’s players are old or gone Tomlin can’t win because he’s a terrible coach. The man is way over his head and always looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

    But thanks for the irrelevant Stillers reference, Ronnie “Mommy Lover” Burgundy.

    1. Sorry your having a bad day.

      As always I love our chats and look forward to the name calling. It is a step up from village idiot and atheist.

      Not sure how my sweet dear old mom got into the equation or the color of a mans skin but ok.

      1. Had a great day other than the Stillers game. Since you brought up the Stillers I’m free to bring up Mike Tomlin. And since you’re the master of the inane and stupid, is there’s anything that’s really off limit? How does anything you ever say get into the equation? But I guess it’s a matter of the pot calling the kettle black. Oops, I said black and little Ronnie will get offended. Because he’s just the model of decorum!

        You go girl! Nothing but love!

      2. I’m all for the witty sarcastic banter on here and I’m even ok with you calling me names like atheist and village idiot. But invoking race or the color of a mans skin to make a point in an argument is low class and beneath everybody on here.

        We are all nameless and faceless on here so it is easy to say things without repercussion but taking this to racial undertones frankly crosses a line. Nobody on here has any idea what our skin color is, racial or religious followings are. Or what are day to day lives are like.

        I’m sorry you went there because to read many of your posts it is obvious you have a deep understanding of Christianity and feel you got caught up in the moment and lost judgment. And for that I feel bad for you because it would be a shame for you to be judged on that.

        This is just a website to talk about a football team and have some fun but this sort of ruins the fun.

        Am I sarcastic on here, you betcha. Football is fun, it is not life and death. It doesn’t require name calling and this type of vitriol. It certainly shouldn’t veer off into race.

        I bid you good day sir.

  3. You know, Ron, one day, perhaps when the Cubs actually win something, you’ll outsmart. Until then you can keep on trying. I really do enjoy besting you over and over. Perhaps you like it too. Freud would’ve loved you! Mommy issues, Ronnie? Why so much loathing and sarcasm? Didn’t get breastfed enough as a baby? Ron “Sophocles” Burgundy just needs a little mommy love, that’s all.

    You stay classy, Ronnie “Mommie Dearest”!

  4. That’s right, Ron. I did finish it. On my terms not yours. You know, Ron, just showing some class.

    But you stay classy, Ron. It will happen one day for you. Perhaps when the Cubs win a World Series!

  5. KellyCare stat of the week:

    Notre Dame has won its past 10 games decided by a touchdown or less, tying Kelly with Knute Rockne for the second-longest such streak in school history. Elmer Layden holds the record with 12.

    1. KellyCare Fact of the Week:

      Knute Rockne is a football legend with many national titles and undefeated seasons at ND.

      BK has yet to win anything significant at ND.

      Now Ronnie “Mommie Dearest” is right to compare Layden and BK. How many NC between them?

  6. Thanks for the critical feedback, Jack. I’ve been saying for a while ND needs to return to the Holtz days when it comes to admissions. There are several recent examples of top recruits going elsewhere due to strict admissions. Off the top of my head I can think of DE A. Muhammed who’s now at Miami and a big CB who we really needed and wanted after Darby left but was missing some foreign language credits. The kid took and passed an online class but ND didn’t recognize the credits so the kid went elsewhere. Can someone recall this player’s name? So, yes, Jack we’re in agreement. And no, neither Jack nor I are saying admit illiterate thugs with speed.

    1. SteelFanRob,

      I was wrong Hotlz dominated the academies. The games I’m thinking about were with Davie. Also, I agree ND can get great kids with ability and speed. They can take a risk or to considering they graduate 98% of their players. They can take a kid with questionable grades, work with him and make him a ND man. They can give an oppertunity to a kid from a bad neighborhood to better himself through education and discipline of a Catholic University. They can improve him spiritually and mentally.

  7. JDH:

    As you yourself just mentioned above the D scheme was horrible. Yes, we’ve had injuries. But those injuries don’t account for our healthy starting CBs not being able to shed their blocks or our safeties playing deep and not running the alley to help out on the edges of the D. So while I appreciate your FYI, I don’t think it really accounts for our struggles on D against the Middies.

    1. I agree with what criticisms of the D- I share them. It’s just my two cents that I think a healthier D probably would have helped. I could certainly be wrong though. I truly have no idea what Diaco was thinking with his schemes. Weird.

    2. SFR, I agree with your criticism of the D – I really do. I just think a healthier/faster defense would have made it tougher for Navy to run all over us. I could be wrong though. But I have no clue what Diaco was doing/thinking. And I will say that defensive schemes aside, Navy played with far more heart and desire than ND did.

      1. Sorry for the double post. When I tried to post the first one it said that it didn’t go through…

  8. Some perspective:

    Injury list going into Navy:

    11/03/13 LB Ishaq Williams Knee “?” Saturday vs. Pittsburgh U
    11/03/13 NG Louis Nix III Shoulder “?” Saturday vs. Pittsburgh U
    10/25/13 OL Christian Lombard Back out for season
    10/07/13 LB Jarrett Grace Tibia out for season
    10/04/13 Backup RB Greg Bryant Knee out indefinitely
    08/22/13 DL Tony Springmann Knee out for season
    08/17/13 LB Danny Spond Migraine out for season
    08/17/13 LB Doug Randolph Shoulder out for season
    08/15/13 DB Nicky Baratti Shoulder out for season
    08/14/13 QB Everett Golson Academics out for season

    Add to this Ben Councell and Kona Schwenke during the game. Our D is destroyed by injuries. Me thinks Navy would not have their way quite so easily with a healthier team. Just an FYI.

    Also, Coach Kelly is approaching Elmer Layden and a guy named Knute Rockne for wins by less than a touchdown. Again, sometimes you have to win ugly.

  9. the offensive line cant run block, the qb throws two interceptions a game because of it, and the defensive coordinator needs to get these guys in shape, in the old days, the other teams were pounded into submission by the half, but these guys are so out of shape they let the trim fit guys stay in the game until the last few minutes, diaco also has the cornerbacks playing so far back it looks like a triple safety formation

    1. The first interception happened because TJ jones fell down. The 2nd was just a bad decision by Rees. We ran all over them in the 2nd half so run blocking wasn’t a problem.

      I do agree with you though about the cornerbacks playing way too far back. That’s pretty much indefensible when you’re facing a triple option.

  10. Amen, Storespook, Amen! One is not a real fan because one buries their head in the sand and doesn’t want to see reality for what it is. A real fan sees the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good is that under BK ND’s winning games CW’s squads would find a way to lose. The bad is a team that can’t put things together in all 3 phases and beat mediocre teams easily and compete against the big boys on a big stage. The ugly is the D against Navy this week, the O against USC in the 2nd half against SC before that, namely, inconsistency, after 4 years under BK.

    Sadly, if ND plays like it’s been playing, Pitt, BYU, and no doubt Stanford can beat the Irish. It seems that the Pinstripe Bowl seems our destiny. If so, then let’s hope we beat a Rutgers team that needed a last minute TD to beat Temple yesterday.

    At this point, it’s all about getting and keeping the best recruits possible. We’re going to need all the talent we can get to continue to get back to elite levels.

    GO IRISH!

  11. Perspective is based upon appearance and when you have a subjective element governing rankings within a supposedly more objective format, how one wins in today’s college football does matter as it will next year when we move to a limited playoff format. I think it’s also indicative of measuring how well you are in relation to other teams. Since Bob Davie, we have had a history of barely beating teams other top teams have pounded. I can expect good teams having a game with less talented teams eeking out a win as an exception. It has been more than exception here for this type of win. We have better players than Navy, should this have been a shoot out as to what occurred yesterday? I question if it should if we believe we belong with the bigger boys. We are not a BCS quality team right now. I hate admitting that but we aren’t. I think the top 8 BCS RATED teams would flatten us in a BCS bowl game. As a long time fan, I want to see us go into a game feeling we can compete with anybody. I don’t feel that way yet as a fan. Not since Holtz was here have I felt that way. At least back then I always felt a ND team always went in to a game with a belief they would win (even the 1994 team). I am not calling for BK to be let go. Obviously he is enjoying better success than his 3 predecessors. I have a feeling he will move on to the NFL in the next couple of years.

    I think it is legitimate critique to look at how we are winning games, especially with losses to teams with better records and/or rankings. I am not happy about our overall QB/offense after 4 years if BK being in charge. I expected us to be better. I expected something a little similar say to an Oregon type offense.

    I have a feeling we will struggle with all the teams remaining on our schedule. It may be very important how we look especially if we win to determine a bowl placement. We need to then WIN A BOWL GAME.

    Play like a champion

  12. What is with all the fuss about how ND wins or loses. Here are the facts:

    The Irish move to 27-4 over their last 31 games. Only Alabama and Oregon have gone on a better run, putting into context just how strong this program is after Kelly took it over from Charlie Weis.

    This has been done primarily with Tommy Rees at QB and playing ALL teams from BCS conferences.

    1. Scav,

      The reason why it matters how ND wins is beacuse the polls care about style points. ND fans can’t say on the one hand it doesn’t matter how we win and then cry about not moving up in the polls on the other hand. You may not like this, fine. Neither do I. But it’s the reality of college football.

      No doubt the talent level at ND is much higher under BK than CW. The record is much better too. But there’s been a lot of close calls against bad teams under BK. But I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this, Scav, that at least under BK those close calls were wins and not defeats like under CW.

      Your last two points are also valid and well taken.

      I challenge anyobdy to produce a post from me calling for BK’s job. There are some here he would have BK fired today after this miserable showing against Navy. Not me. But I’m also getting tired of mediocre performances against sub-par teams. We need to beat Purdue like Ohio St. did yesterday. That’s the level ND fans should expect.

      I appreciate your sane and respectful analysis, Scav, as opposed to the cry baby name calling.

      GO IRISH!

  13. A mediocre football team, that is on the schedule every year, will occasionally play a close ball game if not win. Get over it

    1. What do you mean by occassionally? Occassionally is becoming pretty regularly. Not only with Navy but other sub-par teams. The truth is that ND was one bad pitch from losing to Navy for the second time in BK’s 4 years. That’s not occassionally.

      I’ll get over it when ND looks like it can play with the big boys and not get demolished. You settle for your crap play and barely beating suck-ass teams like Temple and Purdue. Mediocrity must run in the family.

      Hey, Tom: Go Cubs!

  14. Hi, I’m loser jeff who makes stupid predictions and cries like a baby when someone calls me out. I’m sorry I make stupid predictions beacuse I’m an inbred loser who doesn’t know much about the fussbol. I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m only a tough talker on the internet because in real life I’m a teeny, itty, bitty weenie. Please don’t say anything bad and make me cry.

    Wa, Wa, Wa….

    Go cry me a river, jeff, you suckass, big baby.

    You started this but believe me I’ll finish it. I’ve been on here for a lot longer than the 30 seconds you’ve been here you cry baby!

      1. Here’s your comeback, Burgubdy.

        jeff, I apologize. Perhaps I misunderstood your original intentions. Regardless, I shouldn’t have traded insults with you. That only lowers both of us. And you see,jeff, there are sad souls on here who enjoy prodding and promoting the lowest common denominator in our fallen natures.

        While I have no justification for my rudeness, all I can say is that I love ND and am frustrated by not seeing them play at their best. I’m sure at some level we both agree with that but just express our frustrations differently.

        If you want to let Ron Burgubdy dictate your life feel free to stoop to more insults. Just know that I won’t respond and give the Ron Burgundys on here their sad pleasure.

        Peace to you, jeff. Please feel free to make whatever predictions you want in the future. Hopefully, you’ll be right more often in the future.

        Go Irish!

      2. C’mon SFR, you said you’d finish it!
        I expect more angst from you after the steel curtain gave up a double nickel.

  15. How much farther than ND has FSU come since narrowly beating tht Irish in the Gator Bowl a few seasons ago?! It’s hard to imagine these 2 teams are in the same level of college football. FSU would most likely beat ND by at 30 on a neutral field and by 40 in Tallahasee.

      1. The only bitch here is you, internet tough guy. Go make your stupid predictions to someone who gives a damn, like your other little bitch friends, who probably are as big losers as you!

        If you don’t like the truth, stick to your comic books and sci fi geek conventions.

        Perhaps a little bitch like you is OK with seeing ND barely beat Navy while FSU blows out a top 10 team. So be it. I can’t help you’re an inbred retard.

        What’s getting old is little bitch excuse makers like you.

        Go root for Purdue loser!

    1. SteelfanRob,

      The reason why FSU has come a long way since the Gator Bowl is QB’s that have played in their offense. I will say it now the ACC outside of Clemson is not that good. Even if ND loses to Pitt next week the ACC still isn’t that good. FSU’s middle llinebackers are small and a team like Obama with a great QB would pound that defense and when they bring 8 in the box burn them deep.

      Again if you have a great QB you easily. get to 10 wins. Look at A&M horrible defense still winning. I like what Tommy has done but but Manzeil or Marriotta on this team and ND is undefeated.

      1. Jack,

        Agreed!

        But you can only play who they put in front of you. And FSU is beating top 10 teams pretty easily.

        FSU’s a recruiting machine of late. They’re stockpiling talent left and right. The great teams in college football now are just recruiting monsters. For those who say recruiting is over-rated, point to me the last time a team won regularly with 2 star recruits, no matter how good the coaching. Saban wasn’t a legend at MSU!

        You’re also right about the importance of the QB in college ball. I think it’s even more important than in the NFL. Which is why BK needs to step his game up with the QBs. Next season BK’s going to have 3 QBs with the skill set for his O. No more excuses. At some point this O needs to look like a machine and not a Chinese fire drill.

        Thanks for the opportunity to have an intelligent discussion, Jack. The cry babies who think name calling works with me have a thing to learn. I’ll finish what they started!

      2. SteelfanRob,

        I agree BK needs to step up with the QB situation. I also think the administration needs to lighten up also and all low ND to be able to cast a bigger net. FSU and other large state schools are able to offer more players than ND. It makes it harder when there are fewer fish in the pond.

  16. BTW:

    I’m seeing two almost ND D players having real nice games. DE A. Muhammed for Miami and CB R. Darby for FSU. I can’t help to think how much better the ND D would be now and in the near future with all the lost talent. I guess we’ll never know.

  17. What would be great would be 9-0 and beating teams convincingly. But I guess mediocrity runs in the family!

    1. I agree with you because pretty much all year the consensus on this site has been that ND is at best a 10-2 or 9-3 team. I’m not at all happy with how our D got lit up and never adjusted.

      Some times you have to win ugly and this ND team is going to have to do exactly that.

      The goal is to make it to a BCS bowl this year and I’m not holding my breath on that one. One week at a time…

      As I’ve said all year though, with Golson back and our future at the skilled positions…wow.

      That offense combined with a 2012-caliber defense will be tough to stop.

      The pendulum WILL swing away from Alabama and the SEC. History proves time and time again that this will occur.

  18. Is there any team tougher than Navy? I don’t care about their record. They play harder than any team in the country.

    1. Navy has been tough for ever. So why was it that under Ara, Dan, and Lou we’d crush them? Answer. Not only was ND bigger and stronger but they were just as tough. Starting with Bob Davie not only is ND not as talented but it’s mentally weak. That makes teams like Navy look great. I can guarantee you that Bama beats Navy by at least 35, no matter how tough the Middies play. So basically all you’re telling me is that Navy is tougher than ND. That says it all righ there!

      1. fxm,

        I can guarantee you that we’d make some FCS schools look good too. Fortunately, we don’t play them so we can’t humiliate ourselves. Perhaps we can schedule the Ivy League in the future and then we wouldn’t have the tough academics excuse either.

      2. SteelfanRob,

        Lou had a couple of close calls against Navy. I think what hurt ND’s defense was the injury bug. One thing I can’t understand is why not run the ball all game long. Navy couldn’t stop the run and it would have kept their offense offthe field. By the way Navy a couple if years ago gave South Carolina a game. If you not focused they can beat anyone. It will be interesting to see who shows up for the next two games.

      3. Jack,

        I’d have to check the past scores but Lou didn’t struggle much with the academies. Navy also almost upset Ohio St. in Columbus a few seasons ago. So yes, Navy is tough. But a truly great team beats them easy. Agree with your analysis otherwise. But wgat do we know?

  19. Wow, that was ugly!! Never made a defensive adjustment and it almost got them beat. Disappointing defensive effort.

    Offense was strong. Ran the ball all night (Folston and McDaniel looked great). Still some curious play calling though. Why throw some ill-advised passes when they cannot stop the run? Don’t understand why ND didn’t just run it down Navy’s throat all night – would have kept Navy’s offense off of the field as well.

    I’ll take the win but man was it ugly. Must do better in the weeks to follow. Pitt, BYU, and Stanford to follow.

    1. It looked like the safeties were playing too deep. They never helped out covering the RB on the pitch. The defense was always a man short up front.

  20. I would like to be positive after tonight’s victory. I’m really excited about Folston and a healthy Greg Bryant for the next few seasons. The young receivers to are getting better by the game. The offensive line has a lot of young promising talent.

    The biggest worry has to be the defensive line. ND needs a big recruiting cycle with the defensive line for this season and the seasons to follow. ND will not be a champion contender till they recruit high calibar defensive linemen.

  21. The D made some big plays when they had to…and didn’t at any other time. In fairness, our D has been eviscerated by injuries. But that’s no excuse for Diaco. Outnumbered and outrun on 9/10 plays.

    Congrats to Tommy Rees, Tarean Folston, Cammy MAC and Co. Fantastic offensive effort and we need every point to escape with a W!

    Here’s praying for a week of HEALING.

  22. A win but again a good quality BCS team would have wiped Navy’s ass. We struggle to win scoring 38 freaking points against Navy. We may be 7-2 but our wins aren’t exactly real quality. I don’t want to sound as Debbi Downer but we aren’t elite. TF 140+ yards. He is the future, give him the BALLLLLL.

    1. The “Debbie Downers” are the ones who continuously make excuses for this crap! These panderers and excuse-makers should just go root for FAU or FIU. They love mediocre football so much, they’ll have nothing to complain about with those kinds of teams.

      I’m sure glad we won by 30, 60, 100, or whatever delusional figure the (not blindly optimistic, just blind!)on this site always seem to predict.

  23. Thanks to a bad pitch! If not for that we’d be in big trouble. Now we’re probably going to drop out of the top 25. Pinstripe Bowl here we come. I just hope w edon’t have to play Navy again.

    So, basically, we’re Toledo.

    1. The best 7-2 team in the history of college football! A juggernaut 7-2 team of flawless proportions. Who cares about greatness when 7-2 and barely beating Navy is the standard now!

  24. Bottom line now: Stop them or lose because we’re not going to see the ball again with Navy’s O eating up clock. And Navy has time. We needed to eat up 2 more minutes on that drive and force Navy to burn TOs. Navy has TOs and time. So the ND D has to make a stop or lose the game.

  25. FOLSTON, FOLSTON, FOLSTON I don’t mind Cam, but the future at RB is occurring before our eyes. It’s too bad Bryant is out because he will be a monster if he can get healthy next year. HEY DEFENSE, time to show up.

  26. Can’t believe our D can’t stop this and we are behind in the 4th qtr. wow we win boy what internal fortitude we will have shown. Again my sarcasm ( and the adult beverage) can’t be stopped.

    GO IRISH

  27. jeff’s BS predictions notwithstanding, here’s what we need to do the rest of the game. Score 2 TDs and keep Navy to 1. Anything else and we probably lose. Plain and simple.

    1. SFR, I agree at this point I just want to get the W. I certainly like how Folston is playing. Cam and GA111 might be spending the majority of there senior year watching from the sideline with Folston and Bryant ready to breakout.

  28. They are going to put 7 more pts on the board because we can’t stop a run option scheme. I love how the announcing crew is hyping this sophisticated albeit archaic offensive juggernaut attack. Why doesn’t everybody just go the option because it’s such a daunting offense. These are the type of teams a good quality BCS Team would clobber. An Alabama, FSU, Oregon would be wiping these guys out. We struggle with these guys and we are in the 4th qtr. We ARE NOT a BCS TEAM. This is depressing.

  29. Adjustments aren’t really paying off defensively. I can’t believe not only out sizing these guys we can’t contain this sophisticated double option team. 4th and 4 and we can’t hold them

    1. This is gutless D!

      No margin for error on O.

      One more TR INT or other TO and we won’t see the ball again.

  30. This isn’t a top 25 team. It’s not even a top 30 team. This team has taken not 1, not 2, but 3 steps back this season.

    But there’s always next season, right?!

  31. This team is not a BCS quality team even if they finish 10-2. Hate to say that but I don’t think they are even the 25th rated team. Losing to this team would put Kelly in a weisism-losing twice to Navy. Hope second half is better playing this highly sophisticated option attack. This isn’t a 1980’s Oklahoma triple option either. This is looking pathetic.

  32. Hey, didn’t Navy hear that we figured them out and they are not supposed to be a problem anymore? They should have read that, our guys obviously did. Good grief! (that’s right rooting for this team makes me feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the ball away)

  33. Lose this game and it’s not only bye bye BCS, but bye, bye season. Bye, bye recruits also. Losing to Navy is an ambarrassment. Losing to Navy at home 3 times in less than 8 years is a joke.

    I can’t stress enough how important getting talent to ND is. This team has no hope if it can’t get more and better talent. As it is, this staff doesn’t seem to able to develop it. That has been a problem since Holtz left. No player development.

  34. The defense is playing like shit.
    The breaks are going Navy’s way
    ND loses this game because they can’t stop Navy’s offense and ND’s offense makes to many mistakes and presses in the second half. Sad to say it but it’s true.

  35. I love to hear the great commentary by folks who announce our TV home games. Oh yeah, that’s right no favoritism should be shown as long as it has nothing to do with the Irish aspect. Overall, not a great first half and 2 INT’s to boot.

  36. ND needs to limit Navy to a FG at worst in their opening drive in the 2nd half. Then get a TD. Then they need to match Navy score for score to just win by 1.

    Or they can just decide to play D.

    Either way, ND will struggle if they play like this in the 2nd half.

  37. I am glad our defense sends shivers to the Middies. Oh excuse me for my sarcasm since we are 14 PT favorites. Listening to Kelly at break, here’s something, PLAY BETTER DEFENSE COACH!

    1. Plus missing the TE for a TD. Red zone play continues to be dog shit. There at least 7-11 points left on the field and off the scoreboard. This team is just not good enough to do that against anyone, even Navy. This is gutless football. But our resident losers will keep quiet during the game (the way cowards do) and then make their lame excuses during the week. This is crap. Let’s call things what they are. Hopefully ND wins easy. But the first half was just garbage. Period. No excuses. No sugar coating it.

  38. So here we are playing shoot out football with an option attack football and behind late in the 2nd qtr to a team that lost to powerhouse Toledo. Oh, instead of deferring by winning the coin toss Navy gets the ball to start the 3rd qtr.

  39. Between watching the cut blocks, the HS-style Navy offense that our defense can’t stop, and the officiating going full-retard, I am about to projectile vomit.

    Here’s hoping Diaco and his boys can make and execute some major adjustments for the second half.

    1. Just hoping for a win at this point. Been a frustrating season for sure. ND should score against Navy everytime they get the ball. ND by 21 45-24

  40. the officials just threww the wrong guy out of the game. Not only that but it shouldnt have been a targeting foul. Total Bullshit

  41. All right the fair hair wonder boy makes up for that with admittedly a nice TD throw to TJ. I would like to see FOLSTON get the ball more.

  42. jeff,

    Fine. You say it was a joke. OK. But what’s no joke is that ND better play a lot better or it’s not even going to the Pinstripe Bowl. Lose to Navy and you shouldn’t accept a bowl bid.

    Also, this is at least the third game in a row the ND D has allowed opening drive TD.

    So excuse me if I’m in no shape to joke around.

  43. Store,

    See how losers like jeff just expect for ND to struggle early. What’s more, they make excuses for it. They don’t ever question why ND should struggle early. For them it’s OK. Struggle early. Struggle in the middle. Struggle late. Struggle rather than dominate. That’s what these losers tolerate. I’m telling you with fans like this ND will end up being Purdue!

    1. SFR , I was just joking with you. No need to get all worked up about it. By the way the D struggles early because its a difficult O to prepare for.

  44. jeff,

    BTW, I’ll take two SBs in 8 years. A lot better than ND’s track record over the same time.

    Let’s see if your oold prediction holds. I hope so. But you panderers don’t exactly have a great track record of late predicting blow out wins or even wins for that matter.

  45. That Purdue team sure is tough! I think some here were trying to tell us that the Boilers’ D was like the 85 Bears. Ohio St. is ure having a tough time putting points up on Purdue today.

    1. SFR, Hey Rob glad to see you back on the site. I was getting worried about you after seeing the Raiders dismantle your Stillers. Sorry had to go there. Enjoy the game today and look forward to your post especially early in the game when ND struggles defensively as usual.

  46. I am worried an out this game. I don’t think it will be a blow out. I think Navy has a good chance of winning this game. Navy has a really good QB which will give ND’s defense fits. If ND can’t run the ball they will be in trouble because ND’s passing game can be inconsistent which could stall drives. I predict a score of 27 -24 ND

  47. Is it possible also that ND’s O-Line is not that great at run blocking? I think they are really good at pass blocking, but when I watch games, it doesn’t look like there are many holes. I would hate to think that all of these high-caliber backs suddenly came to college and just couldn’t get it done. I do like Folston and I agree he is a hard runner. His breakout game was against Air Force. He had some nice runs earlier in other games. I juat am not sold on the Spread…at least not in South Bend, anyway. But hey, I am just another sideline fan like everyone else. I would be more than happy if BK showed me wrong. I would be very happy and that is quite possible with EG coming back next year.

  48. Hey my wife and I are making the almost 5 hour drive to see tomorrows game. Will it be cold? Can we/should we bring a blanket? Thanks,

  49. if I was a ND running back, I’d be salivating right now. Gimme da ball, coach!!!

    Sink Navy!

    Go Irish,
    Woody

  50. and I don’t get why folston doesn’t get more carries, by far the best of the current backs.. GAIII is not good, timid, cam is cam, reliable but… and amir has been disappointing..

  51. OK, Tarean Folsten looks like a monster in the above picture, Please, let’s see what he does with 20 plus carries in a game.

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