No doubt in my mind that Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is living in Bob Diaco’s head rent free. The Notre Dame defense looked hopelessly inept against the Navy option attack. What really surprised me is how easily Navy gashed the middle of the ND defense with their fullback.
I knew the edges would be a problem but the ease running inside shocked me. Hey no doubt about it the Navy offense was a picture of how to perfectly execute an option attack – that QB is good and we see him for 2 more years. What continues to infuriate me are the cut blocks and we lost 3 more “D” players with leg injuries – Ben Councell, Sheldon Day and Kona Schwenke. I don’t know how many others are banged up, but I saw Carlo Calabrese go feet to the sky twice from cut blocks. No one else in college football uses the cut block except option teams – just GT and the Academies as far as I can tell.
We are seriously running low on the defense with 3 tough games to go… I don’t care about our Navy history of 70 years ago, we’ve got kids that hope to have a future in the Pros or at least leave the game without serious knee and ankle problems, so I say outlaw the cut block which causes as much injury as helmet to helmet. Another thought – why did we not play 8 in the box against an obvious running team, sorta like how Michigan State played us. I would love to see MSU defense against Navy. MSU just battered Michigan yesterday 29-6. I’d like to see DC Narducci coach for us – let Diaco go coach Iowa.
Onto the game. We scored at will and had 506 total yards vs. 419 for Navy. Navy rushed for 331 yards and threw about 3 passes – one for a wide open TD. Tommy Rees 2 TD passes and 2 picks (putting him in 3rd place – 56 behind only Brady Quinn 95 td’s and Jimmy Clausen 60). TJ Jones another TD catch as well as TE Ben Koyack – great to see him finally emerge. GAIII had a 40 yard burst for a td, Cam got one and Folston got his first. Folston looked super rushing for 140 yards and before the season ends will be the number one back.
Troy Niklas was absolutely mauling and pancaking Navy defenders – got a bogus holding block on one play. He even gave some 6 Navy guys a ride on a pass catch.
Kona Schwenke had an outstanding game until a leg injury on Navy’s last drive – game ball anyone?
Turning points: Stopping Navy on first series of the second half and Jaylon Smith take down on a Navy reverse on 4th and 4. Looked like a TD to me – completely fooled our “D”. Speed kills and kudos also to Eilar Hardy for just enough to enable Smith to make the tackle and end the game. 7-2 I’ll take it – next up Pitt, they are another tough team annually for ND.
Here are the Game highlights: