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College Football
Preview
Notre Dame at Navy
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Where: Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland

Seventh-ranked Notre Dame has had two weeks to get over its narrow defeat at Florida State, but now it's time for the Irish to get back to work, starting with a trip to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., to face Navy. The Midshipmen don't have the gaudy record of the Seminoles, but are just as much a thorn in Notre Dame's side, having upset the Irish three times in the past seven meetings. While it might be natural for coach Brian Kelly's squad to overlook Navy for more high-profile opponents in the coming weeks, Notre Dame must focus if it's going to shut down the nation's best ground attack.

The Midshipmen, behind quarterback's Keenan Reynolds' running of the option attack, lead the nation in rushing yards per game at 352.3. The Irish only give up 102.7 yards per game, so this will be an interesting test for both teams to see which trend continues. Of course, Notre Dame has its own strong offensive attack, engineered by quarterback Everett Golson (1,996 yards, 19 touchdowns), that will put the pressure on the Midshipmen to get some points on the board.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Notre Dame -14

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (6-1): After Navy nearly upset the Irish a year ago, Kelly bemoaned the Midshipmen's use of cut blocks, attributing a number of Notre Dame injuries to the rarely used technique. But heading into this year's game, Kelly isn't giving his team any excuses, brushing off the blocking technique as something the Irish just have to be ready for. “Get in your stance, get off the ball and play the game,” Kelly told the South Bend Tribune. “I don't want to hear about it. It's part of the game, and they're legal, and you've got to get off the ball and go play.”

ABOUT NAVY (4-4): You would almost think Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo has been studying old game tapes of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz the way he talks about his team's chances against the Irish. Despite playing Notre Dame down to the wire last year in a 38-34 defeat, Niumatalolo hasn't exactly been building his team up - at least publicly - going into this year's contest. “To even have a chance, we have to play perfect and they have to help us a little bit,” Niumatalolo told the Capital Gazette. “When they play well, it's pretty much a moot point. Like I say, we have to shoot 75 percent from the 3-point line and they've got to miss a few layups in order for us to have a chance.”

EXTRA POINTS

1. Notre Dame S Eilar Hardy returned to practice Monday for the first time since being suspended by the school Aug. 28 as part of a university academic fraud investigation.

2. Navy has not forced Notre Dame to have to punt in five of its last nine meetings with the Irish.

3. Notre Dame is 22-8-2 when playing in a current NFL stadium, including a 2-0 mark at FedEx Field.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 42, Navy 20



Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Notre Dame 6-1 L1 33.4 19.1 5-0 1-1 4-1 0-0 0-0
Navy 4-4 W2 30.9 27.6 2-3 2-1 1-1 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Notre Dame Navy
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/2/13 NAVY 34 ND 38 506 264 242 419 331 88
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Notre Dame T. Rees 60.0 242 2 2
Navy K. Reynolds 66.7 88 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame T. Folston 18 140 7.8 1
Navy C. Swain 16 85 5.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame T. Jones 4 111 27.8 1
Navy M. Aiken 1 34 34.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Notre Dame G. Atkinson III 1
Navy K. Reynolds 3
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Notre Dame E. Golson 61.9 1996 19 6
Navy K. Reynolds 44.9 518 2 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame T. Folston 81 383 4.7 2
Navy K. Reynolds 147 639 4.3 11
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame W. Fuller 43 583 13.6 8
Navy J. Tillman 16 303 18.9 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Notre Dame W. Fuller 8
Navy K. Reynolds 11
Quickchart Matchup
Notre Dame Off vs  Navy Def
448 yards
411.5 yards
4.4 yards/rush
4.4 yards/rush
7.4 yards/attempt
7.1 yards/attempt
Navy Off vs  Notre Dame Def
443.9 yards
346.3 yards
6.3 yards/rush
3.1 yards/rush
8.5 yards/attempt
6.9 yards/attempt