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The Anti-Preview: #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Navy Midshipmen

Blow them out of the water.

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Brendan McAlinden

For 14 years I have provided the most irrelevant game preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish — but I’ve also provide the most relevant fan preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (don’t @ me).


At 7-1 and ranked #10 in the college football playoff rankings, Notre Dame is sitting in a very comfortable spot right now with four game left in the season. There’s really no way of predicting what will happen all across the country, and there is even less of a chance of knowing how the playoff committee will react each week.

The word “comfortable” mainly applies to the situation. The offense has continually improved over the last three games as Tommy Rees and Brian Kelly seemed to have figured out how to unlock the built-in efficiency in the unit with Jack Coan at quarterback. With a less than tough schedule remaining for Notre Dame, the expectation is to just keep winning comfortably, and let the chips fall where they may.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 USC at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Irish are 21 point favorites against Navy with an over/under of 47.5. So... would a 35-13 win for the Irish be a comfortable win? Kind of — probably.

Navy Midshipmen

There’s nothing comfortable, however, during Navy week. Despite Navy’s awful 2-6 record, the Irish still have to deal with the complexity of defending the triple-option. The very nature of their offense allows for a type of “evening out” of the talent differential. It also can mean a lack of possession chances for the Irish — which again — helps even out the massive talent differential.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 11 Air Force at Navy Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This isn’t the Navy teams of the late 2000s and early 2010s. They lack the dynamic playmakers on the edge, offensively, and the backend of their defense — although improved of late — has also seen a talent drop over the last few years. They will be, as ever, the typical Navy team that will fight tooth and nail for every inch during every second of the game.

Even an easy win is never easy.

What should you be drinking?

The 2020 game in Dublin, Ireland, was cancelled due to COVID. The marketing plan before that game saw an official partnership between Notre Dame, Guinness, and legendary quarterback Joe Montana. There’s really no better game on the schedule to highlight this, so have yourself a day.

What should you be eating?

The Worlds Greatest Simple Chili.

  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1.5 lbs. of lean ground round
  • 1 can of dark kidney beans (YES I SAID BEANS)
  • 1 can of diced tomato’s
  • 1 package of a cheap chili seasoning (I prefer McCormicks)
  • OPTIONAL- 1 cup of finely chopped celery

Throw in your ground round, and toss in your onions and celery. Brown the round and then put on simmer on low for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (do not drain the canned stuff- put it ALL IN). Add a half cup of water. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat on low, cover, and let it simmer for 10-30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread and a big dab of butter (No, I am not going to give you a recipe for that- buy a box of Jiffy and follow their instructions).

What should you be wearing?

Be comfortable is the best advice. And oh yeah... be cheap. There is a sale going on right now with our South Bend Collection over at Breaking T. Save 50% on all of our partnered shirts with code BT50. This includes our South Bend Against The Word, Damsha Bua, Back To Our Roots, Kyren Williams, and many more collaborations.

3 reasons to hate Navy

  • They stood in the way of Alohi Gilman being granted immediate eligibility in 2017 after his transfer to Notre Dame from the Naval Academy. Mutual respect?
  • The game means absolutely nothing to anyone outside of the bubble of these two institutions — especially in November.
  • Ram Vela.

At the end of the day...

Notre Dame is an improving team, and at #10 in the CFB playoff rankings, they have a lot to play for in this game. that could mean, of course, that they press too hard and make enough mistakes to keep this thing close — but nah. Notre Dame has too many offensive weapons to use right now. Kyren Williams is on full throttle, and freshman Lorenzo Styles is ready for a breakout performance with multiple touchdowns. Marcus Freeman knows very well how to stop the navy option, and navy doesn’t have the usual weapons to light up the scoreboard. It’s a massive win with little impact. Irish win 52-14.

Twitter @DownTheLine1842