Three keys: Notre Dame-Navy

Three keys: Notre Dame-Navy

November 1, 2013, 9:15 pm
Share This Post

1. Stay on assignment. Navy runs the option more effectively than Air Force (more yards per carry, fewer turnovers), meaning making the correct reads will be even more important than it was last week in Colorado Springs. Air Force had some early success against Notre Dame's defense, but a shift to cover-2 helped eliminate some of the problems the Irish were have defending the edges on the option. Expect Notre Dame to go cover-2 from the beginning against Navy; if not, they may have to switch to it quickly.

2. Score early. Again, like Air Force, Navy isn't a team built to come from behind. Jumping out to an early lead won't take Navy out of its game plan, but it's tough to erase a couple touchdowns on those long, plodding drives that define Navy's offense.

[RELATED: As November kicks off, Notre Dame aims to stay fresh]

3. Don't turn the ball over. Navy has a + 3 turnover margin this year, and if they're able to run the option effectively a turnover could mean not getting the ball back for half a quarter or more. Navy's defense is sub-par, but if the game is close in the fourth quarter a turnover could wind up deciding the outcome of the game.

[MORE: High school coach not surprised by McDaniel's success]

The good news is that scenario isn't likely. Notre Dame beat Navy 56-14 in 2011 and 50-10 in 2012. Expect more of the same on Saturday.

Prediction: Notre Dame 48, Navy 17