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Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Navy Midshipmen: Staff Picks

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And the Cotton Bowl path

USC v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The OFD Staff has put together its predictions for Saturday’s TOP 25 SHOWDOWN between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen (as well as many other predictions for across the country).

Joe Londergan

Notre Dame 35, Navy 24

After winning five straight games, I would not be surprised if Navy puts up a substantial fight here. I’m still giving it to Notre Dame based on the kind of roll Ian Book got himself on with the Duke game last week and the fact that Navy still managed to give up 200 passing yards to UConn. Book will have a better day than that and get his team more than just ten points.

Oregon State Beavers 24, Arizona State Sun Devils 17

What the heck. For the most part, I’ve underestimated the Beavers all year. They’re constantly improving on both sides of the ball, it’s their senior day, and they’ve got a lot to play for in the last few weeks of the season. Let’s see how bad these guys really want to make a bowl game.

Pat Sullivan

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 24, Navy Midshipmen 20

Navy always makes me nervous, especially with their ability to control the ball and slowly but surely grind through defenses for points. I think the Irish have enough speed and veterans on defense to defend the triple option pretty well, but Malcolm Perry and co. are too good at what they do to be completely shut down. Meanwhile, Ian Book and co. got back on track a bit against Duke, so I expect them to score enough to win, but also struggle a bit against the most aggressive and havoc-wreaking Midshipmen defense in years. Irish win a close one to improve to 8-2.

Kansas Jayhawks 44, Oklahoma State Cowboys 41

OUR Kansas Jayhawks are rested and ready to go after a nice win over BYE last weekend. Now, the Mad Hatter and his Madder Hatters head into Stillwater with a massive upset in mind against Mike Gundy’s ranked Cowboys. Les and the Lads will win a wild one that comes down to the wire, and with this win will find themselves alone in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 title and for a prime CFP spot. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS BAY-BEEEEEE.

Bobby Norell

Notre Dame 27, Navy 17

I shouldn’t feel uneasy about playing Navy, but here I am. I think this one could look ugly. It’s gonna be cold. It won’t be a sellout for the first time since 1973. Notre Dame has no CFP or any NY6 hopes. At this point they’re really playing for pride and for double digits wins for a third straight season. Ian Book had his best game of the year last week. I like for him to improve upon that. Notre Dame will need him to be efficient and effective cause the Navy offense will limit possessions for the Irish. I think Notre Dame comes away with a W, but like I said it won’t be pretty.

Indiana Hoosiers 31, Penn State Nittany Lions 24

Your RANKED Hoosiers have me BELIEVING! They’re fresh off a bye, while Penn State comes in off loss where they were exposed a little bit. IU took a little bit of a blow losing Michael Penix Jr for the season, but Peyton Ramsey has proved me wrong and has filled in nicely. Stevie Scott has been on a roll as of late in the backfield. Hoosiers get the biggest win in program history on Saturday as they go into Happy Valley and beat a top 10 Penn State team. #9WINDIANA!!!

Lisa Kelly

Notre Dame 35, Navy 28

Irish will again face a very capable opponent in Navy. Playing a very live underdog is not something Notre Dame should overlook. Navy, winners of five in a row, come in very confident according to experts, who now have the Irish only a 7 1/2 point favorite. Irish rushing defense better be prepared for Navy. While the Navy defense can get “leaky,” they can move the football and score . Allowing Navy to run the ball will only enhance chances of an upset. Notre Dame must once again rely on their QB and senior leadership to get an early lead and a victory. Notre Dame’s home record this season says they enjoy the home field advantage and at this time of the year they need all the help they can get to finish strong and get to a major bowl game. Irish get the nod here but it won’t come easy.

Arkansas has a BYE

Billy Gorman

Notre Dame 23, Navy 17

Last week’s game made me a lot more confident in Notre Dame’s defense than their offense. We all know what Navy brings to the game stylistically. Because of this I don’t think there will be much scoring on Saturday and Notre Dame will have to be very efficient getting points on offense. Navy is a much better team, on both sides of the ball, than they have been in a few years but I think Alohi Gilman leads the defense to do just enough to get the Irish a win.

Washington State Cougars 38, Stanford Cardinal 27

Washington State lost to Oregon earlier this year 37-35 but lost to California last weekend 33-20. They held Colorado to 10 points but gave up 67 to UCLA. What I’m trying to say is this team is becoming increasingly difficult to predict and I’m not sure anybody knows which Cougar team will show up on Saturday. Stanford has been just as difficult to predict this year and Washington State is at home, so I’ll take the Cougars.

Brad Wechter

Notre Dame 21, Navy 13

A ranked matchup against Navy, just like we all predicted at the beginning of the season. I think this one will be close late, but the Irish will pull it out.

Miami-Ohio Redhawks 70, Akron Zips 0

Bowling Green beat Akron by 29. Miami beat Bowling Green by 41. I’m just doing the math. Invite us to a bowl this year, you cowards!

Philip Gough

Notre Dame 38, Navy 17

I DON’T CARE WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ND BLOWS THEM OUT. The name of this game is multiple 3 and outs in the first half. We did it last year and I think we can do it again this year. Look for Drew White to be solidified as the perennial Navy Stopper a la Greer Martini. Alohi Gilman comes to play with double digit “aggressive” tackles. Ian Books continues his upward trajectory as the trio of Finke, Claypool, and Kmet do the Navy defense dirty.

Holy Cross 24, Fordham 21

HC in an absolute nail-biter. The Crusaders desperately need a win and a Lafayette loss somewhere after last weeks upset 5 turnover win .HC has the ability to win out, and should be the Patriot League Champion this year, but need a bit of help.

Mike Whitlow

Notre Dame 31, Navy 24

I loathe this matchup every year, no matter how good or bad Navy is simply because defending the option for 60 minutes can carry over to another week for a defense. And for the Irish, that defense now doesn’t include Julian Okwara. Navy is a much better unit than they were when the Irish smacked them in San Diego last season and this game will be tight because it’s going to be cold, it’s going to be physical and it’s not going to be easy for the Irish to win this game. Still, I think they will because their size in the trenches, specifically on offense, will make a big difference in the end, which could open up some big holes for the Irish backfield and leading rusher last weekend Ian Book for that matter.

Kentucky Wildcats 27, Vanderbilt Commodores 16

This game is bound to be quite dumb because 1) Kentucky legitimately cannot throw the football forward effectively and 2) Vanderbilt is atrocious. Despite blowing a 13-0 lead against heated rival Tennessee last weekend, the Cats *should* win this one, but Big Blue Nation fans will tell you ... just like the men’s hoops team on Tuesday against Evansville ... nothing’s for sure, especially with this program.

Connor Leichtle

Notre Dame 28, Navy 21

I don’t think this offense is efficient enough to blow out Navy with the limited possessions we will have. Clark Lea is the triple option whisperer though so Notre Dame gets a stop late to pull this one out.

Iowa Hawkeyes 24, Minnesota Golden Gophers 13

Undefeated seasons go to Kinnick to die. Minnesota is coming off of their Super Bowl last week, while Iowa is still looking for their customary season-defining victory. The Iowa offense does just enough to pull this one out.

Lauren Dangel

Notre Dame 35, Navy 17

The victory against Duke will give Ian Book the confidence boost to keep a good thing going. The rivalry matchup will have the Irish hungry and aggressive enough to earn the W.

Ohio State Buckeyes 52, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 13

The Scarlet Knights have the misfortune of being the first team in a quarter of a century to lose their first four games of conference play by 30 or more points, and they won’t be improving this weekend. The Rutgers defense is no match for tOSU.

Joshua Vowles

Notre Dame 31, Navy 22

Ian Book and the Irish offense got a little more aggressive against Duke than what we’ve seen from the rest of the year. While that is a really good thing, the possession game against Navy is pretty important and a turnover hurts twice as bad. I think Notre Dame rolls the dice and throws out another aggressive offensive gameplan in the air. Defensively, assignment football might be Clark Lea’s biggest strength as a teacher/coach. Although Navy will still do damage on the ground, Notre Dame will force enough 3rd and 6+ to knock Navy off that schedule a few times. A great stat per Tim O’Malley is that the defensive starters have a combined 800 snaps against the option.

List of most of the games that matter to ND in regards to the Cotton Bowl (and predictions)