Three Keys to the Game Against Navy

Jonas Gray may see more playing time, with Armando Allen sitting for the second straight week with an ankle injury.
Jonas Gray may see more playing time, with Armando Allen sitting for the second straight week with an ankle injury.

This Saturday, Notre Dame will host Navy (6-3), and have a chance to improve to an impressive 7-2 record. A win Saturday would keep the Irish’s chance of a BCS bid alive, as well as keep quarterback Jimmy Clausen in the Heisman hunt. For Notre Dame to achieve these goals, they will have to take care of the Midshipmen first, and three keys will allow them to do so.

Notre Dames run defense:

This is an obvious one mainly because of Navy’s offensive scheme, which is to run the triple option. Last year, Navy ran for a total of three rushing touchdowns against the Irish, which almost lead them to victory. This year, freshman Manti Te’o among others will have to step up and force Navy to do what it hates; throw. Another key figure in stopping Navy’s attack is defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta. Coach Tenuta will need to come up with an effective blitzing scheme to stop Navy’s run, keep our defense off the field, and our offense on it. Limiting Navy’s run and forcing them to throw will only end in good things for the Irish.

Notre Dames run game:

As of now, it looks like the Irish will be without starting tailback Armando Allen, and will be running with Robert Hughes. Also look for Theo Riddick and Jonas Gray, who each got a little under 10 carries against Washington State. The Irish will need to provide a consistent ground game, so that Clausen can open up the offense and keep Navy on its heels. In addition to a strong running performance, look for improved blocking, to give Clausen time to hit one of his receivers – which now includes Michael Floyd, who is playing in his first game since breaking his collar bone against Michigan State.

Special Teams

Last year against Navy, Notre Dame had a horrific 4th quarter of special teams in which they allowed Navy to recover two straight onside kicks, giving them a chance at victory. The kicking game has been solid this year, in which freshman kicker Nick Tausch has converted all but one field goals. In this game especially, look for the resurgence of Mike Anello, who has been much quieter than he was a season ago.

All in all, the Irish should not have a problem against an inferior Navy team, and will look to put up solid overall team stats to improve its chances of a BCS bid.

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19 Comments

  1. there just wasn’t any defense in the 4th qutrear, except for a couple run stops by Michigan. The blown coverages, and corners playing the man and not the ball has to make the coaches sick.

  2. well you guys were back to a territory we have known before-sub par performances lack of defensive knowledge and we give up another late season lose just to seal our chances of having any hope to atleast win a quality bowl. im sick and tired of every year things coming down to this. i wish for once we could play d because its really whhat were missing and the fact that charlie weis has got to be sent to the ofensive coordinators position and we need to hire bill cowher. get rid of the defensive coaches and i mean boot em all. it is sad im 17 and i could do a better job defensively, especially a team that runs about every play. we have talent actually no we dont, on corners and safetys atleast, all of them are bad very very bad. our backers are bad. our line is bad. we are nd and we and im sorry it comes down to this but, we will never restore the glory ever again. our hopes of clausen as heisman aint comin true and another full summer of sub par seasons behind and that restored hope that we have for the upcoming season will get shot down once again as it does every year. we just cant get the job done.

  3. This is completely unacceptable. -kve given Charlie a lot of slack and think he’s a great recruiter. But it’s time for him to go. And take Tenuta and Brown with him. Good Grief. Navy? In a year when we were supposed to get to a BCS bowl? Fire him now.

  4. I believe this is a perfect game for Harrison Smith to get some confidence back as Navy’s offensive plays to his strengths – stopping the run. Doesn’t hurt Navy’s WRs are poor.

  5. I think we win this game outright. I just wanted to comment on the picture of Jonas Grey running. Look how he is carrying the ball, no wonder he fumbles so much. I saw a clip on irishillustrated from practice with Tony Alford ripping him on carrying the ball correctly. Why isn’t this being taught at the high school level. This kid could be in the rotation a lot if he didn’t fumble so much. I am glad to see the coaching staff addressing it.

  6. I think it will definitely be a win but Chuck wont run it up against the Midshipmen and rightfully so – save the onslaught for Pitt. Crush them at Heinz field! Everybody clicks and we begin to see the real potential of the Irish. If we had a defense this year from beginning to end we would be undefeated no doubt. The trip may come at Stanford. That game scares me more than Pitt.

  7. Guys there is no,zero,zilch of a chance of Navy beating us. I am even more confident with the return of M. Floyd. There is no way they stop us on O. We will put up 40pts on them. No way can Navy keep up. Can’t wait to hear “Jimmy Clausen to Michael Floyd for the Notre Dame TD” again. Music to my ears. I am sensing some optimism from you guys (Chris) that I haven’t heard in a long time. I love it. Feeling good about our chances to win out also. We need to stop Dobbs first and foremost. They may get a few passing plays against us but so be it.
    Prediction

    ND 42
    Navy 17

  8. Have to get early penetration without blitzing then make that dangerous QB get rid of the ball. Oh, and Harrison Smith needs to sprain his ankle in warmups. If he plays, I put the over/under on dumb plays by Smith at 5.5. Offense needs to run right at them. Hopefully, they will come up and crowd the box. Then you have Golden, Michael, and Kyle to choose from. I like those matchups. This game always scares me because those Navy kids are smart,disciplined, and play with emotion. 3 things we need to do more of.

  9. The fourth key to victory is fewer penalties, on the offensive line and the defensive secondary. The Irish have been burned by needless personal fouls/unsportsmanlike conduct by the interior line and pass interference calls on the safetys. Continuity and momentum on the Irish offense (1) wear down and demoralize the smaller Navy defenders and (2) keep the Navy offense off the field. In committing to stopping the Navy running attack, the burden will shift to the Irish defensive backs who have been burned by too many long gains. Fewer penalties on both sides of the line of scrimmage will contribute significantly to a balanced offensive and defensive scheme.

    1. x2. This should be a game where we work on discipline and not committing mental errors / penalties. This should be a great game to shine with what has worked game in / game out, for this offense. But also it could be a game to try some new things.

      GO IRISH!

  10. Our front 4 have been playing the run tough the last three weeks and I imagine that will continue this week. Our corrected linebacker situation has aided in supporting the run as well. Once Floyd is back into rhythm and can withstand some punishment, the offense will up to another level we haven’t seen thus far this year. Let’s get a solid win against Navy, staying healthy of course and then pound the hell out of Wan-stache and the Panthers!!

    GO IRISH!!

  11. In college football, there are teams that are strong from start to finish.
    (Florida, Bama, Texas) There are are those who started hot only to fade.
    (Mich,Virginia Tect, Miami) And then there are those who finish strong. (Yet to bee seen)
    Last year we seemed to run out of gas and fade away.(Terriable effort agianst BC, near loss to Navy, Second half letdown agianst North Carolina,
    a OverTime loss to PITT, and a complete disaster agianst Syracuse)
    With all the depth on this team and with all the players seeing action, maybe CW & Co. has kept this team fresh. Maybe this year we are in for a strong finish. I think part of that answer starts with Navy this Saturday.

  12. Even Lou has had a hard time against Navy. So Irish should be optimistic but cautious. Go Irish, lead Navy by two scores so they are out of their offensive comfort zone.

  13. ND definitely stops the run – Navy will pass more than usual. The 3rd quarter will be productive for the Irish this game and ND wins by 18 against Pitt on 11-14. You heard it here first – GO IRISH!

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