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“Nationals October 2019

Navy Faces No.3 Notre Dame In San Diego

| October 26, 2018, 12:14 PM

Gearing up for prime-time, the Navy Midshipmen will face off against the No.3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 8:00 pm Eastern/5: 00 pm Pacific Time in the 92nd edition of the series.

The two teams will meet in San Diego, California at the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium in front of what is expected to be a sold-out crowd of roughly 66,000 fans. This is the first time the two teams will meet in San Diego and the first time in the history of Notre Dame Football.

Notre Dame is having a stellar season so far, posting a 7-0 record and has convincing wins over No.4 Michigan and No.24 Stanford.

A big reason for their success this season is junior QB Ian Book. Book took over for senior Brandon Wimbush against Wake Forrest and had posted a 75 percent completion percentage while posting 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. That completion percentage is good for best in the country.

The Irish offense has weapons all over the field, and are finding ways to get even better. Book has solid receiver options in senior Miles Boykin,  senior Chris Finke,  senior Alize Mack, and junior Chase Claypool.

Boykin leads the team with 32 catches for 512 yards and four touchdowns, while Finke and Mack have 25 catches each. Claypool has 23 receptions with three touchdowns.

The Irish running attack got a boost after senior running back Dexter Williams was reinstated against Stanford after being suspended for four games. It only took Williams three games to become the teams leading rusher with 370 yards and four touchdowns good for 7.3 YPC (51 carries/370 YDS).

Navy is in the middle of a much more humbling season. The Mids enter the contest with only two wins on the season and are currently riding a four-game losing streak that has seen the team fall apart in the second half of each contest. The Mid’s have been outscored 66-19 in the second half of its last three games. Against Air Force, the Mids were outscored 21-0 in the second half in route to getting blown out 35 to 7. Navy had halftime leads against Temple and Houston but gave up a combined 45 points in the second half while the Midshipmen could only find a way to score 19 total points.

Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo will have to correct this problem in a big way if he intends to upend Notre Dame. The Notre Dame defense has allowed a single offensive touchdown (Pittsburgh also scored on a kickoff return) over the past three wins during the second half of games, yielding a total of 10 points to opposing offenses in that time. Only a late touchdown pass for Virginia Tech has stemmed the tide for the Irish in defense of their own end zone in recent second halves.

Garret Lewis will once again get the start for the Midshipmen. This will be Lewis’s third start in a row and his fourth start since last season when he started against Notre Dame in South Bend. Navy lost to the Irish 17-24.

Although not favored to win this game, Navy does have a history of beating ranked teams including Notre Dame. In 2009, Navy was coming off of a loss to Temple and upset No.19 Notre Dame 23-21 in South Bend. Not to mention the 2016 upset of then No.5 Houston when the Midshipmen stunned the country with their 46-40 win over the Cougars.

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About the Author - Kevin Chaney, Jr

Kevin Chaney covers sports all at all levels throughout Anne Arundel County. Follow him on twitter @Kchaneysports and his website www.Shellbacksports.com

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