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Notre Dame Football: Navigating Past Navy

Beating Navy is never a breeze, but it was hardly a struggle for the Irish en route to 8-0.

Navy v Notre Dame Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Navigating Past Navy

Despite the shared history between the two programs, many Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans oppose the idea of playing the Navy Midshipmen on a yearly basis.

Okay, “oppose” might not quite do it justice - they despise this game.

And there are plenty of valid reasons to feel this way. It’s a game that often leaves many Irish players battered and beaten, and is also frequently far too close for comfort. Its perceived benefits are few, and its perceived detriments are many.

But it will be an annual part of the schedule for the foreseeable future, so Notre Dame might as well steamroll them when they play.

And on Saturday, that’s what they did.

Navy v Notre Dame Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

In a game that was far from perfect for the Irish, they still managed to bully Navy throughout the entirety of the game.

Ian Book picked apart the Midshipmen from start to finish. His one blemish came with a late interception, but his stat-line on the day rested at a comfortable 27-33 with 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. There were no struggles through the air.

Dexter Williams continued to carve defenses up on the ground to the tune of 142 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Jafar Armstrong joined him in his return to action, with 116 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

The offense fired on all cylinders.

The defense had its struggles, as tends to be the case when facing triple option teams. Navy wasn’t able to top 350 yards on the day, although if the Irish hadn’t handed them a few big plays, it likely would have been under 250 yards for Navy.

Some of those busted plays could be attributed to defensive captain Drue Tranquill going out of the game early with a lower leg injury. It looked potentially devastating, but he avoided an ACL/MCL injury and came out with a comparatively minor ankle sprain.

Not losing him for the year may have been the greatest win for the Irish on Saturday.

It wasn’t pretty all the way through, but Navy never truly threatened the Irish. Notre Dame did their job, and remained undefeated for another week.

On to the Northwestern Wildcats.