Navy (4-3) @ Notre Dame (6-2)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Site: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.
Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM
Series: Notre Dame leads, 73-12-1
Last meeting: Notre Dame won, 50-10, on Sept. 1, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland
Navy offense vs. Notre Dame defense: When the Midshipmen beat the Fighting Irish, 35-17, in Brian Kelly's first season in 2010, Navy rushed for 367 yards in winning for the third time in four years. The Midshipmen, who are averaging a little more than 292 yards per game on the ground this year, will have to keep their offense on the field and moving to have any chance to break their two-game losing streak against the Fighting Irish. Whether 349-pound Notre Dame tackle Louis Nix III plays after sitting out last week's 45-10 win over Air Force because of recurring knee issues could ultimately help determine the outcome. Navy should be close to full strength at both slotback and fullback. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds will also have to be given more time if Navy decides to throw.
Navy defense vs. Notre Dame offense: The Midshipmen came up big late in the fourth quarter last week against Pittsburgh after being knocked backwards for much of the game by the Panthers. It seems likely that Navy again will use its two biggest down linemen, Bernie Sarra and Travis Bridges, in tandem to counter the bulk and strength of Notre Dame's offensive line. The Fighting Irish had seven rushing touchdowns two years ago against Navy and five in last year's meeting. But this year's Irish team has struggled to amount much of a ground game (95th in the country at 136.4 yards per game). The biggest obstacle will be getting to Notre Dame senior quarterback Tommy Rees, who has thrown for 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions. The secondary will likely be kept busy by receivers T.J. Jones (44 catches, 631 yards, six TDs) and DaVaris Daniels (30 catches, 463 yards, four TDs) as well as tight end Troy Niklas (20 catches, 328 yards, five TDs).