September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am EST
Last Meeting: Navy-14 Notre Dame-56
Gee Gee Greene, SB, Senior-Gee Gee Greene has started 25 consecutive games at the slot back position for the Naval Academy. He is the most talented Offensive player returning from last year’s team. Greene has rushed for 1,246 yards in his career. Greene runs a 4.5 40-yard and has a 37-inch vertical leap. He is a solid FBS athlete that could play at several other schools, not just the Naval Academy. Greene is the top Offense threats that Notre Dame faces in this game. Greene will need to have an outstanding game for Navy to succeed on Offense. He could be successful with Notre Dame’s inexperience on the edge in this football game.
John Howell, SB, Senior-Howell started six games for the Midshipmen last year. He rushed for 350 yards on the season. Howell is a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. He is a player that can hurt the Irish in play action plays. Howell might be critical for a Midshipmen victory. With inexperience at the Cornerback position, Navy has an opportunity to exploit these young Irish defenders in these situations. Howell is just the player to do it.
Trey Miller, QB, Junior-Quarterback Trey Miller started one game last year against Notre Dame. Miller was 5 for 13 for 33 yards and added one TD. He also ran for 55 yards on 19 carries. He played in 7 games total. Miller has a strong arm and the ability to make people miss. He should be able to adequately run Navy’s offense this season. However, Miller will need to have a better game for the Midshipmen to come home to the United States with a victory. There is no doubt that he will play better than last year. But, will he have enough?
Noah Copeland, FB, Sophomore-Fullback Noah Copeland will be starting his first game at the position. In the recent game where Notre Dame has lost to the Midshipmen, the fullback position has been one of the causes. In 2010, Alexander Teich ran for 210 yards against the Fighting Irish. In 2009, Vince Murray ran for 158 yards in another Navy upset victory. The Defense will need to stop Copeland in order to win this game. His lack of experience is critical. He recorded 7 tackles and one forced fumble on Special Teams duty.
Collectively, these players may have enough to give the Notre Dame Defense trouble. However, the inexperience at the Quarterback and Fullback are concerning. Those two positions are critical for this Triple Option system. Without a ton of experience at those positions, it seems unlikely that they will be truly successful against the Fighting Irish Defense. They will improve their 14-point output that they had last season against the Fighting Irish but probably only by a touchdown or so. They will need the Defense to set up to pull out a victory in this game. Stay tuned for the preview of the Midshipmen Defense!