It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but Notre Dame held on to beat Navy this afternoon 24-17. The Navy offense controlled the ball for more than two thirds of the game and came within a failed halfback pass on a late 4th down from tying the game and making things really interesting. Notre Dame’s offense struggled early and late in this one as the Irish escaped with the win to improve to 9-2 on the season and keep their New Year’s 6 bowl game hopes alive.
Defense played disciplined against the Option and prevented any “explosive” plays. Appropriately, the last Navy play – the pitch to Bonner for a half back pass- was disrupted by Andrew Trumbetti, a Senior playing his final play in Notre Dame Stadium, when Trumbetti shed the block, raced to Bonner, leaped with his left hand high and forced Bonner to release a high, off balance throw. Carmona was open but Trumbetti’s effort made that mute as the errant pass fell harmlessly short. Pleased to see a Senior have a memory he can relate to his grandkids.
A win is a win, on paper. I found myself getting annoyed with Long for deviating away from this year’s strength, running the dumb ball. If we have the type of strength on the left side of the OL that are getting the accolades ND should have used that, especially this was a team that should have over powered Navy from a personnel perspective ( unless a concession is being made Navy has equally based talent as ND). Oh where oh where is Dexter Williams. We have a stable of good backs, rotate them to keep them fresh and use them all. It was also disappointing the D didn’t force more 3 and outs to reduce their time of possession. This type of play if it occurs next week will bring a final score where Stanford has more points compared to ND.
The mystery of what happened to Dexter Williams continues. On a day when hitting the hole at top speed would have worked best, he was on the bench again. What gives? Anyhow, I am increasingly disenchanted with Chip Long’s play calling. Third and 2 on a rainy day and Wimbush just so-so with his passing, with the game on the line on our own 30, and Chip calls a pass? Wimbush could have picked up 2 himself and just about salted the game away.
These are game-ending drives Notre Dame must have to win, and we didn’t get it done. Luckily, the Navy receiver slipped on their final play or this website would be going nuts. Surprised Wimbush didn’t run more by design on a day like this. I guess the coaches have determined they just cannot afford an injury.
I suspect he’ll have a green light to run next Saturday.
BGC ’77 ’82
Not a very exciting game to watch, by any stretch. ND did just enough to win…against Navy. I’m sorry I can’t get too excited by that. I was excited when they dominated USC and NC State. This was not the dominating win I was looking for though. I was hoping with Rockne on the uniforms and Ara on the helmets they may have channeled some of that on the field. On defense, at times, I was having flashbacks to last year with missed tackles and allowing key 3/4 down conversions. Offense was up and down, at times they made great plays, other times missed what would have been great plays. If this team shows up to Stanford next week, they will be 9-3 and going to a middle tier bowl.
Am I glad they won, sure, but more so because it would be embarrassing to lose this game. I’ll take the win. I’m afraid, though, after the Miami beatdown last week I’ve lost my excitement for this team. I’ve sort of moved on to the basketball team already. They have high hopes this year, a great team and unlike BK coached teams, Brey’s teams have won some of the big games before. Unfortunately for ND under BK, they do enough to get in the conversation most years. But when push comes to shove, they just can’t cross that threshold under BK.
In the immortal words of Sammy Sosa, ” We take dat’ uh one!”
I’ll take it with a smile on my face. The “bone” was working to perfection…look at the comparative number of “O” plays…it’s just what NAVY wanted to do…but our “D” did what it had to do when the game was on the line. The missed field goal hurt NAVY…it was a de facto turnover…they only scored 7 second half points…good “D” when we needed it.
The slow start annoyed me a little, but since they weren’t scoring either (until the last few minutes of the first half) I was not too worried.
But why do the NAVY receivers (even the fullback) seem to have better hands than we do? That IS annoying!
La Crosse, Indiana
I agree ND played good solid assignment football. Didnt really see much missed tackles. D didnt give up any 10 plus runs. I do question some of chip longs play calling on 3rd and short. Run the damn ball. I know theyre trying to get wimbush to improve but as the playcaller call some plays suited to his strength.