Notre Dame looks to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing showing in Miami. With the playoff dreams all but dead, Notre Dame will face a Navy team that isn’t exactly the kind of team you want to face when you have any reason for a let down. Add in the always emotional element of Senior Day and suddenly we have a game that is more interesting than it appeared it would be just a couple weeks ago.
What Concerns Me This Week
Senior Day. It’s always an emotional game for Notre Dame – and most schools for that matter. The good news for Notre Dame is that a lot of the seniors still have eligibility left after this year so they know it’s not their last game but for guys like Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, it’s the last time they will step onto that field for the Fighting Irish (yes I’m aware Nelson has eligibility left but he’s a top 10 pick at worst right now). Playing a team like Navy that will grind you down and frustrate you is not an ideal combination with Senior Day to be honest.
Notre Dame is bigger, stronger, faster, and all that but they were all of that last year too and Navy still beat them in Jacksonville. It won’t be an easy task for the staff to have everyone’s heads in the right mindframe at the start of this one.
Notre Dame’s defensive line. Greg very astutely pointed out in the summer that the Notre Dame defensive line could wear down by season’s end and sure enough, it looks like that might be happening. After being so stout against the run all season the Notre Dame defense was gashed by both Wake Forest and Miami in the running game. Now the Irish will have a bunch of young kids playing against the option for the first time. Guys like Daelin Hayes, Jay Hayes, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara, Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa either didn’t play much last year or were still in high school.
I expect Navy to put together a couple of good drives early as the Irish defense settles in. Good news here is Mike Elko has a lot of experience in scheming to stop the option so that should help ease the burden on the young defensive linemen. That said, it’s a lot different when you get out there and start cutting cut blocked repeatedly.
The mental state of the team. This isn’t just tied to Senior Day either. After last week’s no show in Miami, we’ll learn a lot about the mental make up of this team. Everyone said all of the right things all week, but it would be impossible for them all not to be utterly disappointment this week. Hell, if anyone on the team wasn’t disappointed and pissed off all week long, they are playing the wrong sport. Teams can respond in one of two ways to such situations – they can come out and play pissed off or they can let Miami beat them a second time this weekend.
What Doesn’t Concern Me This Week
A bounce back from the Notre Dame offensive line. While the defensive line worries me this weekend, the offensive line doesn’t – even after Miami made them look ordinary at best. Navy just doesn’t have the players in the trenches to hang with the Notre Dame offensive line and the Irish should be on a mission to get that ground game going again early on. Look for Quenton Nelson especially to play like a man possessed this weekend as he was one of the few players last week that looked locked in and ready to play. I hope Chip Long comes out and makes a statement by running the ball three straight times on Notre Dame’s first possession of the game. If he does, I have little doubt that the 4th play would be a punt.
And Brandon Wimbush. Last week’s game won’t be in the Brandon Wimbush highlight reel but he has a chance to learn from it. In Notre Dame’s two losses this year, Wimbush has been pretty bad. He was a different kind of bad against Miami than Georgia though. Against the Bulldogs, he was just really off. Against Miami he turned the ball over way too much and got rattled. He has a chance to learn from that performance though and improve as a quarterback.
I said earlier this week we will learn a lot about Brandon Wimbush this weekend and someone in the comments pointed out that even a huge game this week doesn’t mean that he will suddenly play like that against another top team. And they were right. My point, however, remains that we’ll learn about how strong Wimbush is between the ear holes this weekend. If Wimbush comes out and hits some throws and moves the offense and doesn’t show any lingering effects from last week, we’ll know he moved on. If he doesn’t though, then the Irish have a new problem on their hands.
The Rockne Heritage jerseys. Some people will love them, some will hate them. If Notre Dame struggles at all the old guard will complain that all they did was motivate Navy to play harder. Personally, I don’t really think what Notre Dame wears today will have any impact on how hard Navy plays or how the Irish play. All I’ll say on them is that the jerseys, helmets, cleats they wear today are meant to honor Knute Rockne. Hopefully the players play in a manner that honors him as well.
Players to Watch
- Josh Adams – He has been shut down the last two weeks ever since the 33 Trucking Campaign kicked off. The only thing that could slow him down today though is another random, minor injury. Look for him to bounce back.
- Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame needs him to have a monster game in the middle of the DL. He’s played Navy two times already and knows what he is in store for.
- Alize Mack – Will last week’s touchdown – albeit after the game was decided – be the spark that finally gets him going?
- Nick Coleman – Navy will most definitely pull out a few trick plays and mix in a few well timed play action passes. Notre Dame needs Coleman to be disciplined this week to avoid giving up the kind of big plays Navy needs to to win a game.
- Drue Tranquill – He was an option stopping machine in early 2015 before he got hurt. His role in this year’s defense is similar to that specialty role he played then. Look for him to rack up tackles today.
How’d I Do Last Week
Horrible. I predicted a 10 point win for Notre Dame and honestly, deep down I thought Notre Dame had a chance to win even more comfortably so in reality, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought the chinks in the armor we saw against Wake Forest was just a young team looking ahead to a big game. Instead, they were a sign of things to come. And now I have myself very confused for this week.
This is honestly the hardest game of the year to predict in my opinion. You have all of the emotional factors which play such a big role in college football weighed against the fact that Notre Dame is playing a team they should never beat by less than 20. But we all know how the Navy games go for whatever reasons. All that said, here goes. I think this game will be close until half-time with both offense scoring early. In fact, I could see this game in general playing out exactly like the 2015 game between the two. In the second half though, the Irish will pull away and win reasonably comfortably. Navy will try to limit Notre Dame’s possessions so it’ll be on Chip Long to stay patient when Notre Dame has the football. If long just trusts the process this week and runs the ball, Notre Dame will be fine in the end.
Prediction: Notre Dame 45, Navy 24
Pre-Season Prediction: Notre Dame 49-17
|Game||Pre-Season||Game Week||Actual Outcome|
|Week 12: Stanford||ND 24-21||ND 31-17|
|Week 11: Navy||ND 49-17||ND 45-24||ND 24-17|
|Week 10: Miami||ND 31-27||ND 38-24||UM 41-8|
|Week 9: Wake Forest||ND 34-24||ND 42-13||ND 48-37|
|Week 8: #14 NC State||ND 34-17||ND 34-24||ND 35-14|
|Week 7: #21 USC||USC 38-24||ND 34-31||ND 49-14|
|Week 6: North Carolina||ND 31-21||ND 41-17||ND 33-10|
|Week 5: Miami OH||ND 42-17||ND 49-13||ND 52-17|
|Week 4: #16 Michigan State||ND 24-13||ND 30-28||ND 38-18|
|Week 3: Boston College||ND 35-10||ND 35-10||ND 49-20|
|Week 2: #3 Georgia||UGA 29-27||UGA 29-27||UGA 20-19|
|Week 1: Temple||ND 31-21||ND 31-21||ND 49-16|
Navy almost always plays the Irish tough and they played a great game today. 4-8 on 4th down and they held the ball for 42 minutes. Their offence was executing very well.
Tough to get excited about a 7-point win at home against Navy–but the Irish really did get Navy’s best and we walked off the field with the W. Navy couldn’t have played much better.
A little disappointed that the team came out flat. I was hoping they’d have a chip on their shoulder after Miami, but they seemed content to do enough to win. That mentality won’t fly against the Cardinal. We’ll need the team that dominated USC, not the team that hung on against Navy.
From your mouth to God’s ear, BGC!
Please don’t get me wrong. I hope you”re right. But forgive me if I haven’t heard this wishful thinking on this site before.
You know when we’ll all know ND football is back? When we stop talking about ND football being back because NC runs will be a pre-season given.
That’s the standard. Not ten wins. Not even eleven wins. Those should be automatic. Of course, it won’t always happen. But that should be the standard. That’s what it was under Ara, Devine, Lou.
My friend Steel Fan Rob, ND Football is back!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Nicely done…but a slow start offensively. Much improved physical conditioning in the later parts of the game really showed, especially on “D”.
Onto a good Stanford team for a New Year’s Six Bowl bid, chance to finish the regular season with 10 wins and follow that with the first New Year’s Six Bowl win since the 93 season Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M. That’s a long time ago.
Lol, whoa. I’m learning optimism isn’t acceptable on this site.
It wasn’t a blow out and we’re not Alabama. So we shouldn’t be grateful for a win.
At first glance in this down year for Cardinal, they should walk all over us and get their usual win. They have personnel on the bench who would be Notre Dame starters. We won’t be able to run on them and Burns will look all pro again with easy pickings against our secondary. But, because it’s best seller Notre Dame should get that New Years Bowl game. Higher ups have already decided.
RIP Malcolm Young
Truly sad. Glad to have seen him live several times.
So. He and you are both cats?
It’s a reach but i get it.
Cow Palace 82
One play away from going to OT. Against Navy. Again.
Get out the pen, Savvy Jack! Extend Kelly for another decade, before the University of Saskatoon steals him!
Paul Johnson was Navy’s Rockne.
Rockne’s innovations with the forward pass? Meet the maddeningly efficient triple option.
Meanwhile, what has ND done? Well….they did hire UA to make nice Rockne costumes.
Enjoy your masochistic misery.
I’ll take the win and even be happy about it.
9-2 and ranked #8.
2 losses to a fired up #3 Caine’s squad and a very good #7 Georgia bulldog team.
Hard to imagine we were 4-8 last year. 4-8?! Wtf
All this with a wide receiver Corp who couldn’t catch a cold. A Quaterback who can’t throw the ball. A RB Corp who can’t find a hole because of a weak over rated offensive line.
Lol. Damn…I wonder what this team could do with some improvement?!
Maybe Saban would offer to replace our garbage coahing staff?!
I’ll bleed blue & gold on 4-8 seasons, national Championship losses, wins, losses….whatever.
Bring it Cardinals. Go ☘️
I’ll take the win and even be happy about it.
And that, ND fans, is what ND now is.
And who you should accept you are.
Why should ND Fans be unhappy about a win? Because it wasn’t a blow out?
Y’all are some of the most negative group of people I’ve ever seen.
Yeah. I’ll be happy about the win.
W = life is great!
L = fire the bum!
And they wonder how American politics is now as tribal as it is.
“Very” “gutsy” performance tonight. “Glad” to see the men “pull” out a “victory” for ol “Notre Dame.”
Huge game down in Boca tonight.
What’s going on in Boca?
Is Butch Davis there?
Hope you didn’t wear him out too much, “Ronna Burgundia”!
Eq. St. Brown vs. his kid brother Osiris should be a great show next week. Wonder what sideline their NFL ready kid brother Amon-Ra will be standing on?
If Navy is such a tough team to beat, how is it that Temple did it so easily.
The issue isn’t Navy. They’re limited.
The real problem is ND. Plain and simple. They have an average coach and average talent.
9-2 isn’t great. Greatness is what Bama has done for close to a decade. That’s the gold standard.
If ND can’t strive to compete at that level then it’s time to close shop and build up the theology faculty some more.
As opposed to one trick, little bitch?!
Like I said, you’re nothing man! No original thoughts, just insults.
Why the hate? Are you being sodomized by a family member, little boy? You know you can call the authorities.
I guess my challenge will go unheeded by you, troll.
So be it!
Why bipolar? I’ve always been consistent with my analysis. Point out an inconsistency. Please. I dare you.
Long after you leave this site after hitting puberty, little man, I’ll be here.
Now, go clean out your potty mouth. Put on your Mickey Mouse pjs. Check under the bed for monsters. And try to get some sleep before little child.
When I attended ND the Theology Department, The Law School, Preprofessional, and Architecture were the programs of renown at that place. So yeah, give more money to Theology…that’s my Major…and Fr. Joyce’s Department, and Father Hesburgh’s! Awesome.
But right now in football we are poised for a New Year’s Bowl bid, a double digit win season, and a top 5 finish. Let’s do that too – you know SFR, just for a hoot.
And I hope no one tries to tell me this team isn’t much better conditioned than the last few years teams.
I like it…but not the slow start on offense…I think we will beat Stanford, a very good team, at the Farm. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that.
I recall a time, “Ronna Burgundia,” when ND beat Navy easily.
9-2 isn’t “great.” 11-0 is!
But leave it to you to not understand that and justify mediocrity.
“And our hearts forever,
Praise thee Notre Dame”
Much like the mantra of this blog. lol
Well that was an ugly shit show win. Stanford should shove it down our throats next week. This will be another fun year. Fml
“Tough game” “great” to be “9-2”
God bless the USA
“Thank” “you” “seniors”
Keep wearing the Rockne jerseys undefeated 1-0!
Thanks for giving the game away on two separate occasions, Kenny
Thank God for the illegal motion penalty!
I say let them score right now!
Win it on O.
Can’t get any pressure on an option QB when passing!
What a joke!
Miz, sorry to say, they will go for two with seconds remaining to seal our doom.
ND clearly should have gone for it on 4th Down
Navy wil tie it up
Gave it RIGHT BACK. What a joke!
Watch it, “George,” “The Archangel” is watching!
The Archangel is forever on watch.
Has Mack made a key catch all season?!
He’s been a HUGE disappointment. Especially after all the hype he received by the authors of this site during the off-season
INT. #18. Go Irish
THE PLAY WAS THERE
shouts Flutie in abject disappointment.
Two guys on the receiver.
Wishing it so doesn’t make it so, Dougie.
Almost reminds me of ’84 game when we got fg when time had expired.
The Navy OC or HC has done this favor for us more than once the last so many years!
They’re running at will and decide to pass. Why then?!
We should get a fg out of this to put pesky Middies away.
What about them Irish. 3 TDs in their last 3 possessions. 24-17. I think I did right taking the 18 point spread though.
Sure did! Awesome performance against a team they were favored to beat by almost twenty.
Oh, “Mike,” have you ever heard of hyperbole?
Perhaps you are a fundamentalist evangelical and take everything you read literally.
May I suggest you read “Dei Verbum”.
Sorry, “Mike,” my bad misread your post.
Mea culpa, bro!
Referring to the Archangel as a fundamentalist evangelical has got to be at least a venial sin, and an undeserved insult to the max. ? Nonetheless, you are forgiven.
Post on, and sin no more.
Bless you, “Mike”!
IF (note caps) the ND D can get a stop now and get the ball back to the O, and the O puts another seven on the board, then it’s game over.
Looks like Wimbush doing enough to keep himself on board, this week.
Are ND’s dominant O line men playing today?
How is that Navy can so consistently stop ND RBs for such minimal gains. With this so-called dominant line you would think the Irish can get seven yards per carry at least.
This whole team from the bottom down is over-rated. They proved it the last two weeks.
Now watch “David” insult me even though I’m saying the same thing he says except with better vocabulary and more thought.
The O line got exposed week 2. We all knew it deep down.
BK better get ready to go for it on 4th down. Every possession counts!
Does Navy own us. We may see ball two more times. About time we get a turnover and turn this game around. Even Navy wouldn’t have recruited Flutie.
ND won’t get to 18 points!
Flutie is having an orgasm in the booth!
18 point favorite, at this rate, we’ll be lucky to get there.
Notre Dame sucks at football again. All is right with the world
You can’t stop Navy’s passing attack, you can only hope to contain it
Irish can’t even contain it, “George”!
I gave too much credit to Elko and Long early on, showing their true colors to end the season
Losing to Navy is worse than getting beat by Little Sisters of the Poor.
3 and 16 and they give up a first down on a fullback dive, that is inexcusable.
Took the words outta my mouth.
ND defense misses two tackles on every play.
Good thing everyone is named Rockne today. He is to blame. Here’s a team that Temple squared away. Absolutely pitiful performance. Should score four unanswered to keep credibility.
“He don’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!”
This Navy D allows over thirty a game!
We score 30, I’m buying everbodybon the board a round.
I know “David” can be a bit overbearing, but let’s admit he called this when the rest of us where drinking the BK Kool Aide!
Keep drinking. And please choke on it.
You are a judgemental bully and a know-it-all who knows nothing.
Choke on your on bile, troll!
Funny how you gratuitously insult everybody and then call me a bully and censor.
Cut the BS and name-calling and debate me on something substantive about ND football.
Look I challenge you ri
Finish my thought.
I challenge you, “David,” to stop the name-calling and debate me about something substantive regarding ND football.
Can you do something other than insult and call BK a fraud? I say not!
So go for it troll. Prove you have a mind and not just a potty mouth!
Should’ve just let them score earlier!
There’s no shame in getting trucked on every play when the opposition is more powerful and talented.
Nothing like shitting the bed, what a horse shit effort and coaching scheme.
Not sure what everyone is getting so worked up about. It’s just your annual mid/end-of-season nosedive. It started in the second half against Wake Forest and will continue. We’ve all seen this many, many times.
Where are the BK apologists in-game to tell us how the rest of us are over-reacting?!
They’ll show up after the game if ND squeaks it out and tell us everything is just great with ND football.
What BS cowards and scoreboard watchers!
Now we know why he fair catches everything.
The upset starts right now!
This didn’t age well.
I guess you called it in-game, “Ronna”. Did I miss it?
No, you save your gutless posts for after the game, after getting Butch Davis off.
Oh la, la, “Ronna”!
Zero god damn penetration
Lose today and kiss NY 6 bowl and big-time recruits goodbye.
I’m OK with the former but not the latter.
ND has a serious talent problem. Besides poor coaching, average talent doesn’t help.
The only thing the Irish need to go along with those helmets is a box of crayons.
“BK is a fraud!”
This defense went south at WF game. As usual reacting instead of dictating. Time to clean house, top to bottom.
A loss today will seal Kelly’s fate. Lets just get this over with.
It feels like we may have the ball for a total of about 7 minutes the entire game
Where’s “Positive Pete”?
This team is just so poorly coached. Only know does this coaching staff see the problems with BW we’ve seen all season. Too little, too late!
It might be a season or two from now, but I can’t wait for BK to move on. ND is going no where fast with this guy.
By then ten years will feel like forever. His regime embodies the mediocrity of ND football for the last almost thirty years.
You are almost as big a fraud as Kelly. And a bigger BSer.
Sure, “David,” whatever.
Your entire “debating” skill set revolves around childish name-calling.
But what can you expect from a prepubescent child!
Just remember I can do this all night with you at a much higher intellectual level.
The only thing you have going for you, troll, is that BK is indeed a fraud.
If it weren’t for BK you wouldn’t have a life, loser!
You should give thanks this season for BK.
Is BVG’s kid really the 3rd string QB? Hold open tryouts
Wimbush, come on mannnn
The Irish playing at slow pace. Wonder if they need throwback jock straps.
Wimbush just got EQSB killed!
This guy should just move to WR right now!
Wimbush better have a big day today and next week or else Jurkovec will take over at game one.
They can beat ND at football, but they can’t operate a ship…..5th collision this year just reported.
What exactly are they DOING at the Naval Academy ?!?
Guess we really wore Canes out. Cavs leading 28-14.
Sadly, Miami has the feel of a team of destiny. I hope I’m wrong but they just know how to win these kinds of games this season.
I’m rooting against them no matter what. I don’t care if it hurts ND. The Irish have no shot at the POs and I don’t want to see the Canes get there either.
How many more home games does Miami have?
Miami is a program led a great coach who is at the beginning of his tenure. It’s premature to say they are all the way back but they look like it.
ND is a program led by an average coach at the end of his tenure. The Irish never made it all the way back under BK and probably never will.
Last Saturday was a clear vision of two coaches taking their respective programs in different directions.
Sad but true.
I just want to see our receivers lay out for one pass. Just one.