Notre Dame Football: Staff Predictions vs. Navy

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 6: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish speak with his team during a timeout in the first half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 6: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish speak with his team during a timeout in the first half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame football will travel to San Diego to face Navy in a neutral-site game this weekend. Here’s how our writers see it shaking out.

It’s been a long bye-week, but it’s back to the grind for Notre Dame football on Saturday, as they take on Navy and that pesky triple-option.

Navy-Notre Dame games always make us nervous. This year, however, Navy is down and Notre Dame looks as good as they have at any point during the Kelly era.

Here’s how our writers see the game playing out.

Carlee North

The Irish are coming off a much needed bye week, not only for player rest but for preparation against the frustrating triple-option of the Midshipmen. I don’t think the Navy defense can stop the Irish offense from moving up and down the field, but the biggest thing on Saturday will be scoring touchdowns in the red zone for the Irish. That’s going to be improtant, because we all know Navy should and probably will win the time of possession battle.

Once again, red zone efficiency will be the biggest key for Notre Dame to pull away, as they should against a suspect Navy team this year — at least record wise.

If the Irish take care of the ball, win the turnover margin and score touchdowns instead of field goals, they should move to 8-0 with little stress against Navy. 38-16, Notre Dame.

Chase Eyrich

The reason I see this one maybe not being such blow out like we saw in Ireland is due to the triple option. The key for Notre Dame is going to be not to make any mistakes, because Navy will keep the ball as long as they can. Brian Kelly’s teams have faired well following a bye week and I believe that gives them the extra push that they need. Notre Dame, 38-17

Connor McJunkin

The Irish are 7-1 coming off bye weeks under Brian Kelly, but are also 2-8 playing out west since 2010. This will be a great game to see how well this team can prepare and bounce back after a sluggish performance vs. Pittsburgh and a bye week. Navy has given the Irish fits in recent years, and their ground and pound style of offense and dominating time of possession always makes this a tough game.

On paper this isn’t a close game, but Notre Dame has struggled in three of the four games this season where they were the heavy favorites. I don’t think this team struggles as bad as they did vs. Pittsburgh, but I don’t see a blowout happening either. Irish improve to 8-0 and win 38-28.

Nathan Erbach

The Navy program might not be at the same level as some of the most recent Midshipmen teams, but we can always expect their best when they play the Irish. Possessions will be down, so Notre Dame will have to make the most of their opportunities on Saturday. With Ian Book, that’s exactly what they’ll do. The Irish should get somewhere between 8-10 possessions and I’ll predict they get on the scoreboard on seven of those drives. Notre Dame 45, Navy 17.

Paul Walsh

Ian Book looked more human against Pitt than he has in any of his previous starts. However, he rids himself of his happy feet and gets back on track this week. The Irish defense stays stout en route to a big win going into the first College Football Playoff ranking. Notre Dame wins, 49-14.

Sonny Martinez

Even though Navy hasn’t been great this year, I could still see problems. The triple option is a miserable thing to defend and even worse to watch. I think the Irish defense is good enough to limit the damage and take it to Navy on defense. Irish win, 42-20.

J.P. Scott

I don’t wanna hear anything about how tough the triple option is to defend. Talent and coaching will always win out. Notre Dame has the advantage in both, and has had two weeks to get ready for the Navy offense. I expect either one long drive or one big play as a result of the Irish getting used to defending the triple option in person. After that, it’s curtains, as Notre Dame’s championship defense and dynamic offense do their thing. Notre Dame wins big, 49-7.

Mason Plummer

In a game that’s rough and a bit nerve-racking in the first half, Notre Dame has a strong 2nd half and pulls away to beat Navy 35-14. Navy will limit Notre Dame’s  offensive possessions, and second half adjustments will need to be made for the Irish to put this one away. 8-0!

dark. Next. Irish prepare for triple-option of Navy

Ben Belden

Notre Dame doesn’t quite light up the scoreboard because Navy does a good job with keeping the ball away from the Irish offense. But Notre Dame does a better job keeping the Navy offense out of the endzone. Notre Dame 31, Navy 10.

Jack Leniart

Notre Dame and Navy have had some very close games in recent years so I was surprised to see the spread of this game over 20. This is a relatively bad Navy team and the Irish are coming off of their bye week, but I don’t see them covering the spread in this one. Notre Dame 31, Navy 14.