The Irish take to the road for an early start time against Navy. This game should be a fairly easy one for Notre Dame, as long as they just keep improving as they have been throughout the course of this season. This is a contest that Navy is outmatched and the Irish should put up some gaudy numbers. Here are some wild, but realistic, projections of what happens on Saturday afternoon.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeFChen
Rushing attack goes for over 300 yards
Nov 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Logan Diggs (3) runs the ball against the Clemson Tigers in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off the effort against Clemson, this is almost assured that the Irish will keep the ground game going. Both Logan Diggs and Audric Estime eclipsed the 100 yards mark against the Tigers and the offensive line was pushing around the vaunted Clemson line. The Navy defensive line isn’t nearly as talented or as big and the Irish line should be creating massive holes for the backs to run through. Expect them to continue to churn out big yardage on the ground.
Defense holds Navy to under 200 total offensive yards
Nov 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) is sacked by Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Howard Cross III (56) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
This Navy team doesn’t have much going for them on offense at all. After the Irish dominated Clemson’s rushing offense, allowing just 90 yards on 25 carries, the defense is beaming with confidence. Yes, the Mids attack is very different from what the Tigers do, but I can’t see Navy really running over this defense. Their passing attack is pretty much just a few shots here and there, so this should be another banner performance for the Irish defense.
Michael Mayer goes for 100 yards and a score
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 05: Michael Mayer #87 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish breaks a tackle from Keith Maguire #30 of the Clemson Tigers during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on November 05, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
The Irish are going to have everything working for them on offense on Saturday and the pass game is going to reap some of those benefits. Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees isn’t asking much from Drew Pyne now that the offense has established itself, but there is still a need for a vertical game. The Navy linebackers and safeties are going to have a very difficult time covering Mayer, they’re just not good enough. He will have a very big game, going for over 100 yards with a score as well.
More than 10 negative plays caused by the defense
Nov 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) is sacked by Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker JD Bertrand (27) in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Four sacks and seven tackles-for-loss last game, those numbers should go up a bit playing a team that isn’t nearly as talented. The physicality of the Irish defense really has shown up over the last few games and it’s going to continue against Navy. It’s a team effort, there isn’t just one area of the defense that is carrying the load, every level is playing very well. The contributions will come from all over and it won’t stop as the Irish will make at least 10 plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Drew Pyne throws for three scores
Nov 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne (10) rolls out to throw against the Clemson Tigers in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, I’m suggesting that the Irish run for 300 yards and throw for three scores. That doesn’t mean that Pyne is going to have a massive game passing, but he’s going to be very good inside the red zone due to the running game gashing the Navy defense. Pyne will find Mayer once and then two others as the Irish offense explodes with a huge effort.