It wasn’t the prettiest performance of the year but Notre Dame outlasted Navy to win 24-17. Despite the score, I liked what I saw from this game, especially on the defensive side of the ball. For this reason, I have decided to do an all-defense player spotlight. The only offensive player worth mentioning would be Kevin Stepherson but with the offense not showing up until the 2nd half I decided the defense deserved all the attention.
Welcome Greer Martini to my player spotlight. The option killer himself. He finished the game with 15 tackles which is a career high. Martini seemed to be involved in every play. We knew he was a good defender against the option coming in. He has had some of his best games against Georgia Tech and Navy. This game was on another level. He was the most important player in the game on Saturday. Always in position and always making the tackle. Job well done, Greer.
He played an awesome game Saturday. Drue Tranquill is the heartbeat of the defense. He is gets everyone in the correct spots and is always barking out calls. Notre Dame held Navy to under 4 yards a rush. That is excellent against an option football team. I give Drue Tranquill quite a bit of credit for the play of the defense, which I thought played great.
Troy Pride Jr.
I have to include Troy Pride Jr. because he made the play that was the turning point in the game. The play was of course the interception in the 4th quarter that ended a Navy drive where they were going in for the potential game tying score. He finished the game with 6 tackles as well. He seemed to take good angles when Navy ran wide and was able to limit their running backs on the edge. He is one of a large number of defenders who I could have picked here but I loved the confident play of Troy Pride Jr.
I know Notre Dame fans do not like beating Navy by one score and sweating it out until the final minutes. With that being said, I thought Notre Dame played a pretty good football game. From the final offensive drive in the 1st half on, the offense looked unstoppable. Yes, they got off to a slow start but I like the momentum they will carry into next week. The defense stood tall and held Navy under all their season averages. What more could you want? I am fairly optimistic for next Saturday when Notre Dame travels to Stanford. One more strong performance and this team will finish the year 10-2.