Notre Dame had lost three out of the last five meetings with Navy after winning 43-straight against the Midshipmen. After a 56-14 win last year, Notre Dame continued its dominance with a 40-10 win. In Everett Golson’s first game as the Quarterback,he went 12 for 18 for 144 yards with 1 TDs and 1 INT.
Big plays dominated this meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Midshipmen. The big plays began with a 56-yard run by George Atkinson III. Atkinson showed great speed when he took one cut and headed to the Endzone. Later, Stephon Tuitt recovered a fumble and returned it 77 yard for a touchdown. Tuitt reminded Notre Dame of what happened to the Irish in 2011. He showed a lot of speed out running all of the Midshipmen to the end zone.
The most valuable players of the game were the Notre Dame Offensive Line. Notre Dame ran for 293 yards. This is an impressive total. In comparison, Notre Dame ran for 186 yards against Navy last year. This year’s total is impressive. Fans should expect this for the majority of the season.
The most of exciting thing in this game was the turnover ratio. Notre Dame forced 4 turnovers (3 fumbles, 1 interception). Two of their fumbles were forced by Manti Te’o who finally forced turnovers. Finally, Te’o demonstrated that he could be an impact player. He probably improved his draft stock in this game. This was the one thing that Te’o lacked prior to this season.
Notre Dame showed a weakness in defending the pass. At the beginning of the second half, Navy went down the field in three plays and capped it off with a touchdown. KeiVarae Russell was beaten by Shawn Lynch. In fairness to Russell, Slaughter did not have good coverage at Safety. But, the fact that Notre Dame cannot stop Navy from throwing the ball is concerning.
The kicking game was also concerning. Notre Dame missed two extra points. The first was a kick that was pushed right. The second was a snap that Turk completely whiffed. Notre Dame needs to have that fixed by the Purdue game. Those points could come back to haunt them in the future.
Everett Golson’s performance was solid. He did not do anything spectacular. He did exactly what he needed to do. He made a few mistakes as expected. Golson was intercepted once and missed a few wide open receivers. However, Golson was not the only Quarterback that played today. Andrew Hendrix entered in the 4th Quarter and went 3-and-out. It was very questionable as to why Hendrix got playing. Golson had never played in a game before. It would seem like Kelly would want Golson to get a lot of experience as opposed to resting.
Overall, Notre Dame played a solid game. They probably played better than fans expected. Nearly, rushing for 300 yards is an impressive statistic. Golson showed that he can manage the game. Behind an impressive Offensive Line and rushing attack, Notre Dame can have an excellent season.
Stay tuned for our post-game podcast!