The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-1) and the Navy Midshipmen (4-0) are set to add a new chapter to the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in college football. Check out the Navy vs. Notre Dame prediction and game preview.
Navy vs. Notre Dame Prediction & Preview
Date: Saturday, October 10
Game Time: 3:30 ET
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Why You Need To Care
Navy and Notre Dame meet for the 88th consecutive year in a series rich in historical significance. The rivals will be approaching this meeting from very different angles and vantage points. The 15th-ranked Irish want to bounce back from their first loss, falling frustratingly to Clemson last weekend, 24-22. ND remains on the playoff periphery, but its margin for error has evaporated. The Mids are 4-0 for the first time in 11 years. And an upset of the Irish will not only catapult the team for when AAC play resumes, but also dramatically improve its Big Six bowl game application.
Why Navy Will Win
The Midshipmen are playing solid football these days … and it’s more than just the ground game. Sure, the QB Keenan Reynolds operating out of the triple-option defines this program. But Navy is playing defense as well, giving up just 15 points per game. There’s no singular star, with the possible exception of DE Will Anthony, rather a collection of try-hard defenders excelling at stripping the ball.
Why Notre Dame Will Win
True, Navy has been solid, but it hasn’t faced an opponent with better talent than East Carolina or Air Force. The Irish are bigger, stronger and faster than anything the Mids have seen, which will create mismatches on both sides of the ball. ND should be able to bully the academy at the line of scrimmage, getting RB C.J. Prosise back on track and giving QB DeShone Kizer time to find WR Will Fuller.
Player Who Matters
The Irish have shown some holes in run defense the last two weeks by allowing five yards a carry. That’s encouraging for Reynolds, FB Chris Swain and the balance of a ground game that ranks third nationally. This week, more than ever, Notre Dame needs Sheldon Day to eat up blocks up front and Jaylon Smith to sift through the traffic from the second level.
What’s Going To Happen?
The edge in motivation clearly belongs to Navy, especially since Notre Dame could still be bummed from last week’s tough loss in Death Valley. The Irish, though, possess too much talent—and too much barking from Brian Kelly—to sleepwalk through a Navy game. Reynolds will flourish in his final shot at ND, but the Irish will shake loose and avoid the upset on a couple of Fuller touchdown grabs.
Navy vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Navy 24, Line: Notre Dame -14.5, o/u: 54.5
Must See Rating: 5: The Walk – 1: Pan … 3