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Notre Dame Football: Navy is...a trip to the dentist

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It can’t be avoided, the annual Navy visit is here.

Once again, that time of the football season is upon us. It is the Navy game. For the 93rd straight year, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen will play a football game.

Since 1927 this game has been on Notre Dame’s schedule. Thirteen of those times, Navy has won, and seventy-eight times Notre Dame has won. Exactly one month after World War 2 ended, the two teams tied. I think I speak for most when I say that in all the times Navy has played Notre Dame, no one has looked forward to it. It’s like going to the dentist. So take a seat, grab a magazine and get ready.

At least there’s always that one magazine right?

I love watching teams run the triple option — I truly do. The cat and mouse game of who is going to end up with the ball. There is a beauty in seeing all those moving pieces executed at a high level — unless it’s against Notre Dame. Then there is no beauty, and it is like the whistling of a dentist drill. You hear it coming, and it is inevitable, but are you sufficiently numb? No of course not, you can’t just buy Novocaine... What? I mean, how would I know? Look 2016 was a long time ago. Don’t judge me! The important thing here is that we know exactly what we’re in for on Saturday and it’s best to brace yourself now.

The Navy game is like a Mad-Libs you find in a Highlights magazine, you can write the post game notes by just plugging in the blank spots.

[Team] won the game on Saturday. Navy was able to keep the game close for most the afternoon by limiting possessions, running clock and converting several fourth downs. The Notre Dame Quarterback was able to throw for [number] yards but ultimately it came down to [Player] making a play in the second half. The turnover battle was certainly a key as [Team] committed more turnovers, which in a game of limited possessions, certainly played into the end result. Notre Dame plays [Team] next week, which will certainly be a more difficult game if you subscribe to the body blow theory.

I know it’s going to be frustrating. You know it’s going to be frustrating. Remember last year? Notre Dame won 44-22, it was 27-0 at half and yet there was still grumbling. The line was 23.5! About the only time in the last decade this game hasn’t been like getting a tooth pulled was 2012, and I don’t see a 293 yard rushing performance ahead of us on Saturday. So as your buttcheeks are kissing the edge of your couch(ruining the cushion by having all your weight on such a small area) and Navy is converting 3rd and 3 after 3rd and 3, just remember...It was always going to be like this.

Stopping the option is a snap.

About this time, I’d usually look to breaking down the opponents strengths and weaknesses. With Navy it doesn’t matter. Ricky Dobbs, Keenan Reynolds, Will Worth, Malcolm Perry... what does it matter? It’s like ordering a burger from a McDonald’s. Which McDonald’s? The one off the turnpike? Does it matter? They all taste the same. It doesn’t matter that Malcom Perry is 5’9” standing in cleats on his tiptoes. He’s still gonna go 1200 yds rushing and 1000yds passing by seasons end.

There isn’t NFL talent at any of their skill positions, if you put Tony Jones Jr on Navy’s roster, he might be a generational talent for Navy at RB. Their offensive system is a well oiled machine and typically operates effectively regardless of the parts. On the flip side of the ball, have you heard that Navy has improved in every defensive metric by over a 100 places in rankings!? Wow!

Bruce Feldman has Notre Dame just scoring 17 in his weekly picks, the least points ND has scored in the series since 1979. Surely we can just believe these numbers at face value right?

They have played an FCS team in Holy Cross and 4 teams that rank in the bottom 80 in scoring (East Carolina 80th, Tulsa 111th, USF 97th, UConn 119th). Who knows if they are good? The only team with an offensive pulse they played was Memphis and they lost that game 35-22. This cannot be glossed over, their defense is unbelievably untested, their numbers are essentially meaningless. There is no reason Notre Dame won’t score at least 31.

This all leads me to believe that this has all the makings of a routine teeth cleaning for Notre Dame. I just don’t see, barring a total meltdown offensively, how the Irish don’t win this game. It’s going to be uncomfortable at times to be certain but the Irish will come out on the other side with a win...as well a reminder for next years appointment.