How’d we do last week?
As mentioned last week, I will feature the Most Interesting, Most Wildly Inaccurate, and Most Accurate Takes for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the previous week. Here we go!
My gut was telling me that the strength of Duke Football IMMEDIATELY decreased once basketball season starts. Something about the student body completely shifting towards their #1 sports priority makes me feel like it would tough to get fired up emotionally. I think them running pick and roles would have been a funny, ironic twist. Thanks for the fun Clearwall.
Turns out Duke did “not” think that Ian Book would run the ball like he did. He was the leading rusher with 139 yards. But....your cold was SPOT on.
ND: 36 vs. Syracuse:3......ND: 38 vs. Duke: 7. I REST MY CASE
And now onto the takes between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen
Notre Dame Starts the game with a 3 and out......ON DEFENSE
I can’t express how critical the first 2 drives are for Notre Dame’s defense. Getting a 3 and out to start and holding them to 1 or 2 first downs on the second drive changes the entire outcome of the game. Navy is and never will be a, “come from behind” type of offense. They look to control the clock and have painfully long drives and keep the score within 3-10 points at all times. By getting your defense off the field early, it preserves their energy and puts Navy behind the sticks. When they are behind the sticks it forces them throw the ball, which is obviously what we want. For this to happen Notre Dame needs very disciplined play by Drew White, Alohi Gilman, and Kurt Hinish.
Also, I trust Clark Lea after his debut against Navy performance a year ago.
Special Teams Touchdown by Chris Finke or Lawrence Keys
This is a game where the Notre Dame Special teams could have a slight advantage. The gap in skill at the second tier players (non starters) widens against teams like Navy in terms of size and speed. I have felt that both Keys and Finke have been close, and my gut is leaning towards Keys hitting a hole at full speed and taking it the distance. It would be the first return touchdown for the Irish I believe since CJ Sanders in 2016.