Notre Dame – Navy: Shamrock Stickers

Tarean Folston - Notre Dame RB
Tarean Folston (25) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Navy Midshipmen linebacker Cody Peterson (53) defends in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 38-34. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It was far closer than it should have been but the Irish pulled out their fourth straight victory with a 38-34 triumph over Navy. The Midshipmen’s option attack gave the Irish massive problems as Navy could move the ball at will. The Irish offense made some mistakes but luckily was able to do just enough to bail out the defense. The following players stepped up for the shorthanded Irish in their seventh win of the season:

Tarean Folston

Freshman running back Tarean Folston finally got the lion’s share of the carries for the Irish and should exactly what he can do. Folston showed he is an elite combo of vision, speed, and power that no other Irish running back possesses. Folston carried the ball 18 times for 140 yards and a touchdown, his first score and 100 yard game for the Irish. The Florida native should continue to get the majority of the carries as he has shown what he can do when he’s allowed to get in a rhythm.

Kona Schwenke

Defensive lineman Kona Schwenke has been forced into action due to injuries on many occasions this season and came up with his best game this week. The native of Hawaii tallied a team-high 11 tackles and would have had more if he didn’t go down to injury in the second half. Schwenke did an excellent job of battling cut blocks and slowing Navy down in the trenches when they ran up the middle with their fullbacks.

Troy Niklas

Irish tight-end Troy Niklas didn’t have his biggest day catching the ball with two receptions for 44 yards but he was instrumental to the team’s victory. Niklas was a prime example of the physical advantage the Irish possessed over Navy. The California native was a monster in the run blocking game routinely driving his man over ten yards downfield. Niklas was instrumental in the success of the Irish run game that totalled 264 yards.

T.J. Jones

Irish receiver T.J. Jones continues to rack up numbers as Tommy Rees’s favorite target. Jones had four receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown versus Navy. Jones could not be covered by the Navy corners and would have had massive numbers if it wasn’t for some poor throws in his direction from Rees as well as the change to a more run heavy attack.

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  1. The fire BK crowd clearly is wrong. However, this team needs to show some serious improvement in all 3 phases of its game next season and thereafter. It’s one thing to point to regular season wins, some of which were by the skin of collective Irish teeth, against vastly inferior opponents. That’s fine for now. But what ultimately counts are national titles. No one plays to finish second, third, fourth,…. 124. In the end, what ND coaches are measured by and what makes them legends are titles.

    Both the “fire BK now” and the “BK can never be questioned” crowds have their selective facts and opinions. As with most things, extremes are partial and thus never fully right. The broad middle ground on this matter consists of those of us who realize what BK’s done and some of the handicaps he’s faced (some a result of his own doing!) in doing them, but that also realize that a lot more needs to be done with and expected of this team. Victories are fine if they eventually lead to titles. How many of those has BK won in 4 seasons at ND?

  2. I think it’s about time ND thinks about replacing Kelly, his defensive game plans stink. Navy ran up and down at will. It was a miracle we stopped them on 4th and 2

    I think THIS team is out of MIRACLES. It’s time for change.
    Gruden would be a miracle!

    1. Just to clarify, you would like to replace the coach who has won 27 of the past 31 regular season games and played for the title last year?

      1. Additionally, 1 more win this year and BK becomes the first head coach in ND history to win at least 8 games in each of his first 4 seasons.

        Is this truly the guy you want fired Fred?

      2. Lol. Thank you for addressing the lack of logic with facts.

        I think some have forgotten how bad the program was before Kelly.

  3. Irisheye, I do agree and have said so in other posts. ND is not a BCS quality team. Not even close. Even if we end up 10-2 I will say we do not belong in a BCS bowl. We don’t have the muscle right now with the bigger boys. I hate to say it but I believe that to be the case. What is important if we go to a bowl, it’s a bowl that is realistic in terms of opposition/opponent and WE WIN THE DAMN THING. I want to see FOLSTON run the ball. You notice how well he ran when TR played under center. We need to do more of that. He runs with authority and wants to pound a defensive player. Looks like a smaller but faster Bettis. He is the future, let’s embrace it.

  4. Glad to win this one.
    I was absolutely in shock when I heard the announcers says ” ND still keeps their BCS bowl hopes alive.”

    Michael the Archangel said it well when he mentioned our louse coverage on returns. Add to that the soft corners, missed blocks and the fourth down conversion Navy had. ( conversions, I believe)

    I do believe we should play Navy because it exposes our weaknesses ( and we have many) and perhpas we can fix them to a certain level.
    This team definitely does not have the leadership of Manti-Teo, appears to have no real game plan for destroying the opponet and lacks the vitality and testosterone of last year. Before I get nailed on this comment, I do NOT expect our men to play for National Titles every year. I do have the hope of that but it is not realisitc. I do have the belief ( as do many of you) that we have the atheletes to do well ( and better than we are doing)
    and to be at least COMPETITIVE like a top 10 program. We may be 7-2 but outside of Temple and Air Force, we have not put any team away—and it is due to many, many things. IF we get BCS ( and we should not) we better hope that it is not Oregon or Florida State as they will be mad as heck to prove something as to why they were left out ( or –GOD forbid Ohio State–who believes the world rises and sets with everything buckeye in their pathetic myopic vision of the world) Or Clemson or Miami this year or A amd M with a cocky but awesome quarterback. We cannot compete nor should it be assumed with a projected record of 9-3 that we could.
    Pitt may not be great—but Heinz field is a tough place at night and they would welcome ND —with open arms for a chance to win. ( not to Mention Mark May–uggh)

    BYU is not a gimme and we KNOW what Stanford can do–this year.

    So–I’m glad we beat Navy—but they were just a few plays away from taking the lead and win as we don’t have the efficient offense to rush down the field in less than a minute to score.
    Not this year—

    Love ND Love the Irish–
    Devotede ND family, alumni and several grads in my family but we don’t have the muscle to play with ANYBODY in the BCS–wins or not!

    I think we should take a smaller bowl, win and build up from there.
    It beats a 41-9 thumping like Oregon gave us years back.
    It is worth thinking about.
    GO Irish!
    Beat Panthers, Cougars and the far left coast of the Tree, the Cardinal.

  5. Give one to Navy’s kicker. Big extra point missed. Also to navy’s coach for not running an option on 4th down. He was getting 5 every play. No more option please. Pitt should put it in. Injuries worry me up front.

    1. Add Redfield on special teams; it seems if he doesn’t make a tackle on the kick-off team, Brindza does.

      We put the game at risk with lousy kick-off coverage. With all the athletes we now have,
      there’s no excuse for such a pitiful performance as we had against a very mediocre Navy kick return game. We obviously have the wrong personnel on our kick-off team.

  6. I think ND should reconsider their contract with Navy. WHy do we play a team that has nothing to lose whenever we play them, while we have nothing to gain from a victory ? Also take into mind, the numbing amount of leg injuries our D-line players are exposed to due to the style of blocking Navy uses. Doesn’t make any sense to expose our players to needless leg injuries everytime we play this game. If you don’t believe me, go check with Louis Nix why he kept himself out of this game.

  7. The ND running game certainly looked better this week, especially with Folston in there. I’m glad to see him rather then Amir, who seems to be the forgotten man in that backfield rotation. TJ is plain and simple a very good receiver. I’d like to see a little more of Robinson. His potential is unlimited. Rees could have been better. the interceptions will kill you every time. He needs to limit them greatly in the upcoming games with Pitt and especially against BYU and Stanford. He is going to have to step up against both the later. The defense needs to get healthy.
    No Nix, Williams and Day will take its toll drastically against BYU & Stanford. Go Irish!

      1. I saw (or should I say, didn’t see) the same thing. Navy would’ve had no answer
        for him- not that they had an answer for anything we did offensively. We were stopped when we, not Navy, stopped us. I suspect ND went with their better blocking WRs- in fact, we didn’t need to throw the ball even as much as Reynolds did!

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