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Live Blog — Notre Dame vs. Navy

Nov 2, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

USC Notre Dame Football AP

Ken Niumatalolo brings his Navy team to South Bend, trying to undo the past two years of Notre Dame domination after the Midshipmen’s best stretch in over 50 years. Without starting fullback Noah Copeland and starting slotback Darius Staten, Navy’s triple option will likely depending more on sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds, a talented player who has the chance to be a great triggerman for the Navy offense.

Without Louis Nix in the middle of the defense, the Irish will again employ the masses to stop an option attack. That means more Stephan Tuitt on the inside, as well as contributions from lesser known reserves like Justin Utupo and Kendall Moore. It also means another opportunity to see Jaylon Smith all over the field, playing the best football of his young career the last few weeks.

The clocks won’t change until tonight, but the weather seems to have gotten a jump start, with the game-time temperature in the mid-40s and dropping, with a 50 percent chance of rain.

As usual, we’ll be chatting about the game with our friends from Irish Illustrated. You can also watch the game on NBC, with a 30-minute pregame show airing on NBCSN before the game. If you can’t make it to a TV, we’ve got you covered with a livestream of the game, with an HD feed, DVR capabilities and a multiple camera angles at your disposal.

So join us for one of college football’s most historic rivalries as Notre Dame and Navy do battle at 3:30 p.m. ET.

  1. ndgoldandblue - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Five things:
    1) In the second half, I was thinking that the game was similar to Ali-Frazier 3. Both sides going back and forth. When one side got an advantage, the other came back and asserted themselves. But, in order for that comparison to work, Notre Dame’s opponent would have to be better than 4-3 Navy, a team that lost to Toledo, Duke and Western Kentucky. It was more like Ali-Wepner: the close fight that no one saw coming.

    2) During the game, I was yelling all kinds of metaphorical insults at the defense. “This defense couldn’t stop a vegetarian from eating meat. This defense couldn’t stop an acrophobiac from jumping off a building. This defense couldn’t stop a car accident with a time machine.” You get the idea. It seems like two things are preventing this defense from being as good as it was last year: a lack of overall team speed on that side of the ball (particularly lateral speed) and poor tackling. I get it, the triple option is hard to defend. Well, Duke and Western Kentucky didn’t have many problems stopping it.

    3) You could make the argument that injuries to the defensive side of the ball prevented the Irish from being successful in stopping the triple option. Maybe, but that’s where small recruiting classes and transfers will hurt you. In order to be great, teams need depth when injuries start piling up. I know that I sound like a broken record, but only 12 active players remain from the recruiting class of 2012. Hard to build quality depth with numbers like that.

    4) Speaking of injuries, can we just shelve this series? My father was in the navy, and he did a tour in Vietnam while in the navy, so I have all kinds of respect for the Naval Academy, but the injuries that result from playing triple-option teams are ridiculous. Other than the tradition, Notre Dame has nothing to gain from continuing the series. If they win, it’s because they’re supposed to. If they lose, all of ND Nation is in uproar. If we’re going to continue it, would it be possible to schedule it the week before a bye so that injured players have a chance to heal up?

    5) Hello, Tarean Folston. You are indeed a stud. From now on, the running game needs to feature generous amounts of Folston and McDaniel with a little Atkinson sprinkled in there every once in a while. As for Amir, I really hope the coaching staff can find a good role for him because I’d hate to think that he was regretting his transfer to Notre Dame. He seems like a great kid, and he’s a hell of an athlete. Maybe he should be moved to the slot. I don’t know. It seems like he’s lost in the mix.

  2. ndgoldandblue - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Five things I learned:
    1) In the second half, I was thinking that the game was similar to Ali-Frazier 3. Both sides going back and forth. When one side got an advantage, the other came back and asserted themselves. But, in order for that comparison to work, Notre Dame’s opponent would have to be better than 4-3 Navy, a team that lost to Toledo, Duke and Western Kentucky. It was more like Ali-Wepner: the close fight that no one saw coming.

    2) During the game, I was yelling all kinds of metaphorical insults at the defense. “This defense couldn’t stop a vegetarian from eating meat. This defense couldn’t stop an acrophobiac from jumping off a building. This defense couldn’t stop a car accident with a time machine.” You get the idea. It seems like two things are preventing this defense from being as good as it was last year: a lack of overall team speed on that side of the ball (particularly lateral speed) and poor tackling. I get it, the triple option is hard to defend. Well, Duke and Western Kentucky didn’t have many problems stopping it.

    3) You could make the argument that injuries to the defensive side of the ball prevented the Irish from being successful in stopping the triple option. Maybe, but that’s where small recruiting classes and transfers will hurt you. In order to be great, teams need depth when injuries start piling up. I know that I sound like a broken record, but only 12 active players remain from the recruiting class of 2012. Hard to build quality depth with numbers like that.

    4) Speaking of injuries, can we just shelve this series? My father was in the navy, and he did a tour in Vietnam while in the navy, so I have all kinds of respect for the Naval Academy, but the injuries that result from playing triple-option teams are ridiculous. Other than the tradition, Notre Dame has nothing to gain from continuing the series. If they win, it’s because they’re supposed to. If they lose, all of ND Nation is in uproar. If we’re going to continue it, would it be possible to schedule it the week before a bye so that injured players have a chance to heal up?

    5) Hello, Tarean Folston. You are indeed a stud. From now on, the running game needs to feature generous amounts of Folston and McDaniel with a little Atkinson sprinkled in there every once in a while. As for Amir, I really hope the coaching staff can find a good role for him because I’d hate to think that he was regretting his transfer to Notre Dame. He seems like a great kid, and he’s a hell of an athlete. Maybe he should be moved to the slot. I don’t know. It seems like he’s lost in the mix.

  3. ndirish32 - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    That was an embarassing defensive performance. I understand the thought between not putting more pressure on Navy, trying to make an option team, with all their reads and pitches, go 80 yards in 12 plays by keeping things in front of them defensively, but it DOESN’T WORK. Navy did what they do, and played well enough to win. But ND got the W, I just hate close games against teams that ND should blow out. Talent wise, I mean, ND should blow Navy out, not schematically, that’s for sure. Glad ND finally decided to run the ball with some persistance since they were only getting about 9 yards a pop. On the live blog at one point KA started making fun of a couple of us calling for the Irish to stick to the run game, then he posted a stat that TR was 7-13 passing, and ND had I think 11 runs for 118 yards. Wow, thanks for making our point for us, KA. They were averaging over 10 yards a carry!

  4. mtflsmitty - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    FL State or Miami? Don’t know which I hate more. I guess I have to now give the edge to FL St. That damn song is the only one worse than USC.

  5. fnc111 - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    joeblk,

    I’m the idiot? You started the sentence with your. By now you should know it’s you’re. Pure genius by you.

    Keep bowing to the head coach that is 1-3 against scUM. Kelly is the greatest ra ra ra I get it dude. Just keep toeing the company line. Leave the real work of understanding what’s going on to me.

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