After Notre Dame took a convincing led into halftime, they were outscored in the second half but still walked away with a 22 point victory. I have seen quite a few people complain about the second half and talk about Notre Dame being outscored being a glaring issue issue, it isn’t. This is and has always been the cycle of a Brian Kelly team at Notre Dame.
It was clear from the start that Navy was overpowered and outmatched. Notre Dame played well, Book was efficient and thankfully, it looks like they made it out without major injury. Drue Tranquill looked to have suffered a serious leg injury but Kelly confirmed it was only an ankle sprain and the X-ray was negative. Kelly even mentioned he wouldn’t be surprised to see him against Northwestern. (Probably wishful thinking)
Kelly talked about how much this game takes to prepare for at the post game interview. “I’m glad this game’s over,” Kelly said. “Any time we play Navy, it is a chore for preparation. They’re very difficult to prepare for because you’re dealing with the most efficient and effective operation relative to the triple option in all of football. I just don’t like this week, preparing for Ken’s teams. I’m just excited to move on to the next week with a victory.”
So what else could you ask for? The game was well played overall on Notre Dame’s part and the defense was dialed in for the first half. To see them let off the gas a bit in the second half was disappointing but they won by three scores. People won’t look at this game in the box score like they did with Pitt.
National consensus has been “Notre Dame routes/smashes/beats Navy” but Notre Dame faithful seem just as somber as two weeks ago. Be happy that Navy is in the rear view and Notre Dame marches on at 8-0. It is a tough team to prepare for. Navy is in a down year but it is a rival on the other side of the country with a difficult offense. This could have been much closer and much worse.
This game showed that Notre Dame is a work in progress, but it also showed that they continue to grow and move in the right direction. Navy caused a fumble on the first drive which could have flipped the games momentum but the defense responded with a three and out. When Navy was mounting a comeback and Ian Book threw an interception, the flood gates could have opened but Book responded with a touchdown after. This team never packed it in despite some sloppy play and mistakes at times. Overall they always responded when Navy put the pressure on.
Notre Dame played well offensivly after only scoring 19 points against Pitt and Dexter Williams was a star to the tune of three touchdowns. Jafar Armstrong looks like he is the replacement in waiting at Notre Dame and everything fell into place. Miles Boykin continues to be Book’s favorite target and bounced back after his first possession fumble. Everything is just fine and they are still one of the few undefeated teams left in the country, ranked in the top three no less.
It has to be exhausting to be upset even after three touchdown wins. They won convincingly, look forward to to a difficult game this upcoming week against Northwestern as Notre Dame tries to do it all again. But for now enjoy that Notre Dame won a game that didn’t come down to a final possession.
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.