Navy (6-3) at Notre Dame (6-2)
Time: : 2:30 p.m.
TV: : Chs. 11, 4
Radio: : 1090 AM, 1430 AM
Line: : Notre Dame by 12 1/2
Series: : Notre Dame leads 71-10-1.
Last meeting: : Notre Dame won, 27-21, on Nov. 15, 2008, at M&T; Bank Stadium.
WHEN NAVY HAS THE BALL: : The Midshipmen's offense should get a boost with the return of junior QB Ricky Dobbs, who leads the nation in touchdowns (16). Dobbs is a physical runner and a stronger passer - the Fighting Irish discovered that last season, when he led Navy to two quick touchdowns in the final two minutes. Junior Vince Murray has settled in at fullback, recording three straight 100-yard games.
WHEN NOTRE DAME HAS THE BALL: : Navy's players and coaches have spent the week praising Notre Dame's offensive weapons. QB Jimmy Clausen, who has thrown for 18 touchdowns with just two interceptions, "reminds me of the way [Brett] Favre was playing when he was a senior" at Southern Mississippi, Midshipmen defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. WRs Golden Tate and Michael Floyd, who have 14 touchdown catches between them, "seem almost impossible to tackle," CB Blake Carter said.
SPECIAL TEAMS: : Onside kick coverage was the first special teams issue Notre Dame discussed this week, Irish coach Charlie Weis said; in last year's game, Navy successfully executed two onside kicks in a 30-second span. Freshman K Nick Tausch has converted a school-record 14 straight field goals for the Fighting Irish. Navy's kickers - Joe Buckley (field goals and PATs), Jon Teague (kickoffs) and Kyle Delahooke (punts) - have been solid.
COACHES: : Ken Niumatalolo was an assistant in 2007 when Navy ended its 43-year losing streak to the Fighting Irish with a thrilling 46-44 victory in triple overtime. Weis is faced with far fewer questions about his job security than he was at this time last season.