Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Navy
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Senior Sports Writer
Notre Dame has had a long layoff since the controversial ending at Florida State, but I think the extra rest will serve the Irish well.
With some time to flush the FSU ending from their memories and ready for Navy’s option attack, the Irish should be ready to roll in primetime Saturday night.
Navy’s Keenan Reynolds is an outstanding quarterback rounding back into top form, but Notre Dame’s young and athletic defense should play strong assignment football and keep the Midshipmen under wraps.
Everett Golson has been developing strong connections with his receivers, and Tarean Folston has come on strong.
Notre Dame will move to 7-1 — easily — and take the first step in the long November trek toward perfection.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 45, Navy 14
Notre Dame has every reason to have a chip on its shoulder.
The Irish lost in the final seconds to Florida State after a go-ahead touchdown was negated by a controversial penalty.
Earlier this week, the Irish discovered they were ranked 10th, behind eight other one-loss teams, in the College Football Playoff rankings.
All of this doesn’t bode well for the Navy team playing Notre Dame on Saturday.
But I don’t think it will be a total blowout.
The Irish should be able to move the ball at will, but Navy’s clock-eating option offense should limit the total number of possessions.
And Navy will still pose problems for the Irish defense, though the defense’s attacking style will stop the Midshipmen from making it a repeat of last year’s game.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Navy 17
Assistant Managing Editor
It took a late score to lift the Irish to a 38-34 win against the Midshipmen last year. But this year’s Notre Dame squad features a more aggressive defense under defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, so the Irish should have more success slowing down Navy’s triple-option offense.
The Midshipmen tend to control the clock with this run-oriented offense, but they won’t do so as effectively against an Irish defense that has performed well against the run this season. Still, Navy’s rushing attack likely will keep Notre Dame from having the time of possession necessary to score as much as some might expect. (Might have to expand)
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 31, Navy 17
Assistant Managing Editor
After losing in a close game to Florida State and receiving the No. 10 ranking from the College Football Playoff committee, the Irish know they need to win out to have even a slight chance at making the inaugural CFB Playoff. Although Navy will maintain possession for a majority of the game, Notre Dame will score quickly and frequently when it does have the ball. The Midshipmen triple-option offense will be tough to defend, as always, but Notre Dame’s defense has had two weeks to plan for it and is more aggressive under new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 45, Navy 13
Some aspects of the Notre Dame-Navy rivalry always hold true.
The two teams play every year. The game is competitive but respectful. The squads share in each other’s alma maters after the final seconds wind down.
Finally, Navy usually does not have any shot at winning but still pushes around Notre Dame until the very end.
Except for this year — this year, the Irish will have no trouble shutting down the Midshipmen.
Navy has had success in previous seasons because of its ability to run the option and wear down Notre Dame’s defense. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds kept the Midshipmen in the game last year.
However, the Irish defense has already minimized Devin Gardner and Terrel Hunt — not to mention the reigning Heisman winner.
The option overpowering the nation’s No. 14 scoring defense will not be an option this Saturday.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 37, Navy 14