Notre Dame vs. Navy Free PicksJosh Bailey
For Notre Dame, this Saturday’s matchup against Navy is the first game that they will have played since the controversial loss to Florida State on Oct. 18.
Notre Dame had better put the past into the past. If they’re still thinking about the Florida State loss this Saturday, the tough Midshipmen could cause the Irish some trouble.
Since the beginning of this head-to-head series, Navy has lost to Notre Dame for an NCAA-record 43 consecutive times, but they’ve beaten the Fighting Irish three times in the past seven seasons. Five other times since 2007, Notre Dame has lost the game they play after facing the Midshipmen – including two big upsets: a 24-23 loss to a two-win Syracuse team that had fired its coach days earlier, and a 28-27 loss to Tulsa in 2010.
Matchup: No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Navy Midshipmen
When: Saturday, Nov.1, 8:00 pm ET
Where: Navy Marine Corp, Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
Betting Line: Notre Dame -14
Notre Dame vs. Navy Free Picks Analysis:
Notre Dame should probably be undefeated but football analysts and handicappers that had backed the Fighting Irish in the loss to Florida State have gone over it ad nauseaum. There is no reason to bring it up again because if the Irish do on Saturday, even if it’s just a silent conversation amongst each other, Navy is good enough to put a scare into Notre Dame.
The Midshipmen are having a down season by their standards. They are currently 4 and 4 and suffered losses to Ohio State, Rutgers, Western Kentucky and Air Force. Navy’s against the spread record is a woeful 3 and 5. But, the Midshipmen have won their last 2 games straight up and go into their battle with Notre Dame with some momentum.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, will have to be mentally tough versus Navy. The Irish know that they should have beaten Florida State and that they are the ones that should be in the thoughts of the Selection Committee and not the Seminoles. The Irish are a tough bunch. The defense gives up only 346.3 yards per game. Teams average less than 20 points per game against the very good Notre Dame D.
On offense, Notre Dame has one of the best quarterbacks in college football in Everett Golson. Golson has thrown 19 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. He’s also thrown for 1996 yards and he’s rushed for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns. Those stats may not be as impressive as the stats of other quarterbacks in college football, but Golson has had to play against Michigan, Syracuse’s excellent defense on the road, Florida State’s good defense on the road and Stanford’s top defense.
Golson should have no trouble leading Notre Dame’s offense, which averages over 33 points per game and 448 total yards per contest, against a Navy defense that gives up 411.5 yards and 27.6 points per game. If Golson protects the football, and turnovers have been an issue lately, Notre Dame’s offense could approach 40 points in this game.
The trends give neither team a real edge in this matchup. Notre Dame is 4 and 1 ATS in the last 5 meetings at Navy. The Fighting Irish are also 5 and 0 in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in their previous game and they’re 4 and 1 against the spread in their last 5 games on the road. Navy is 5 and 0 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game and 7 and 1 against the spread in their last 8 after a straight up win.
The winner ATS in this game comes down to Notre Dame’s mental toughness. If the loss to Florida State doesn’t cause the Fighting Irish to have mental breakdowns against Navy, they should roll.
Irish Coach Brian Kelly is a master at motivating his players. Notre Dame is the play.