Is It Time to Sink the Navy Series?

Posted: November 6, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

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The Irish escaped from an ugly loss last Saturday against the Naval Academy. This shouldn’t be a surprise to the Irish faithful. The Academies, every couple of years, will somehow sneak up on the Irish and either knock them off or have a near miss. Looking back over the years, Irish coaches…good and bad, have had a tough time with these undermanned teams. Have you heard one of these remarks from an Irish fan over the years?

“How can Notre Dame not blow this team out?”
“There is not one player on that team that was recruited by Notre Dame.”
“This is embarrassing…Lou or Ara would never let this happen!!!!”

Again most fans either do not know their favorite team’s history very well or they have a mild case of amnesia. Since 1974, Notre Dame has had 23 games against the service academies where the Irish either lost(thank you Charlie and Gerry) or was within a score of losing. Yes, even the great Lou Holtz had trouble with the service academies. Lou lost to Air Force in 1996, needed a goal line stand to stop a 2 point conversion in 1995 against Army, won 42-30 against Air Force in 1994, and won a tight game(22-7) against Navy in Notre Dame’s last National Championship season.

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I too thought that Notre Dame would not have a problem with this year’s triple option. Even though Coach Kelly had a major set back in 2010 with a horrible 17-35 loss to Navy, Notre Dame has dominated the last 5 service academies by an average score of 47-14. Then reality and history hit me right in the face.

Here are a few points that stuck out to me after last week’s game:

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1.) Navy’s sophomore QB, Reynolds is really good and will be a pain in Notre Dame’s side for the next 2 years.
2.) Cut blocks are flat-out bull shit!!! It is one thing to cut block at a players feet, but when you go for the knees when a player is running away from you is down right dirty. There was a play when a Navy OL was going to the 2nd level to block Calabrese. The Navy OL torpedoes himself straight into Calabrese’s knees.
3.) Notre Dame is a walking wounded on the defense side of the ball. On the last drive against Navy, Notre Dame had 2 players on the DL that were scout players 2 weeks ago. Counting the 2 deep in the DL(3 positions) and OLB’s…Notre Dame has 7 of 10 players injured.
4.)  Running back Folston is now healthy and is going to be the man over the next 3 1/2 years.
5.) Those AAC refs were horrible!!! I really think that they had a vendetta against the Irish for leaving the Big East.
6.) The refs let Navy get away with too many penalties because they are undersized and because….well…they’re Navy. After re-watching the game 3 times(I know, I have a problem) the fullback and left guard should have been called for illegal motion 3 or 4 times.

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Conclusion- What does the Navy game do for Notre Dame? The media calls Notre Dame out for playing Navy every year, even though Navy is probably a top 40 team. If Notre Dame beats Navy…who cares, but if they lose…the media has a field day. If Notre Dame decided to cancel the series because too many injuries are occurring, the John Feinstein’s of the world would crucify the Irish. There is a reason why a lot of big time football programs will not play Navy. The have a chance to beat you and your team could be a walking mash unit after the game. I realize that Notre Dame owes Navy for helping keep their doors open…but I feel the debt has been paid on the backs of injured players careers. Notre Dame will be lucky to get by Pitt and BYU unscathed, let alone Stanford. So here’s hoping for a 9-3 finish and a bowl win.

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