Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 10, 2014

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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NAVY RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE Navy entered the contest as the nation's top rush- ing team with an average of 352.2 yards per game, and against the Irish it totaled 336 at 5.6 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed for a career-high 251 yards on 39 carries the previous week versus San Jose State, so a goal was to make him pitch it, and the Irish did hold Reynolds to 47 yards on 18 attempts. Unfortunately, the alley on the pitch was often not accounted for, and the top five slot backs to- taled 125 yards on 18 carries. The toss sweep or pitch saw the Irish either outflanked to one side or caught in over-pursuit. Meanwhile, senior fullback Noah Copeland's 16 carries netted 138 yards (8.6 yards per attempt). When two of the three option phases are work- ing, it promises to be a long night for the defense. It didn't help that an ankle injury to Notre Dame's de- fensive quarterback, senior linebacker Joe Schmidt, had him sidelined much of the second half. ADVANTAGE: Navy NAVY PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE Not including a two-point conversion, three huge Navy passes resulted in two direct touchdowns and set up a third score. The six completions by Navy served their purpose by averaging 20 yards while keeping Notre Dame's safeties and corners on constant alert, thereby opening up the running lanes on the outside. On Navy's first TD, a 26-yard completion to ju- nior wide receiver Thomas Wilson, the Midship- man clearly pushed off on Irish fifth-year senior cornerback Cody Riggs but was not whistled for the infraction. Navy could have set up a fourth score off the pass had Reynolds not dropped a second-half, third-down pass from Copeland off a trick play. The 6-of-17 passing total doesn't look good on paper, but Navy's 39 points can be attributed in ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI Junior slot receiver C.J. Prosise scored on a 78-yard catch and run on the game's second play from scrim- mage, setting the tone for an Irish aerial attack that racked up 315 yards and three touchdowns. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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