It took quite some time, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are finally back in the Top 25 for week 10. After beginning the season in the top-20 teams in the nation and coming off a BCS title appearance, hopes were high for the Fighting Irish, but they have lost some key pieces and are looking at fighting for a regular BCS bowl this season with a 6-2 record.
On the other side of the field, the Navy Midshipmen are looking to take down the Fighting Irish in an upset bid on the road. Although it’s highly unlikely, the 4-3 Midshipmen could surprise some people are put up a fight in South Bend on Saturday afternoon.
Notre Dame has struggled a bit on offense this season, but Tommy Rees has been solid at quarterback. Rees has passed for 1,944 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season, but his 55 percent completion rate isn’t ideal. The passing attack ranks 55th in the nation, but Rees has been known to be fairly inaccurate at times. While he has passed for almost 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns on the year, the senior quarterback has gotten big-time help from wide out TJ Jones who has 44 catches for 631 yards and six touchdowns. The run game has struggled with Cam McDaniel at running back, ranking 95th in the nation.
Navy has one of the best rushing attacks in the country and that’s something that the Midshipmen take serious pride in. It’s almost like watching old-time football when they take the field because they run the ball more often than not. In fact, all of the quarterback combine for less than 100 pass attempts on the season while the run game has taken off, ranking 10th in the country. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been mediocre when passing the ball, throwing four touchdowns on 667 yards, but he also leads the team in rushing with 546 yards and 11 scores.
Defensively, the Fighting Irish rank 28th in the nation in points allowed per game to go along with allowing just 364.5 yards per game — good for 26th in college football. Navy ranks in the middle of the pack in points allowed per game, allowing 24.6 per contest, and a bit worse, 60th in the country, in yards allowed per contest.
Navy will travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 2. The game will be broadcasted on NBC.
PREDICTION: Navy 17, Notre Dame 30