Kelly's Keys to Victory: Navy
“You have to be prepared for every look for the last ten years.”
Notre Dame and Navy games have routinely proven to be challenging for the Irish. The past few games against the midshipmen, including last season's one-point loss, have shown head coach Brian Kelly that his team has to expect the unexpected.
“They did some things against us two years ago that we hadn't seen in six, seven years. So you have to be able to adjust and sometimes adjust on the fly.”
The Midshipmen have become known for running the triple option offense, one of the toughest to defend thanks to constant misdirection.
“You have to beat a lot of one-on-one blocks. You have to play physical. You have to be able to get off blocks. You have to be able to make tackles against a very good and well-disciplined football team.”
While Navy's unique offense poses a tough task for the Notre Dame defense, it also promises to affect the game even when the Irish have the ball.
“What their offense forces you to do is to be extremely efficient on offense.”
In last year's meeting, Navy controlled possession so well that Notre Dame only had six offensive possessions.
With the run-heavy attack, Kelly says the Irish have to capitalize, every time they see the ball.
“Offensively, we have to be able to score. Last year, obviously, we scored, but we didn't score touchdowns. You have to score touchdowns. You have to finish off your drives. You have to be extremely efficient.”
So while the Irish have dominated the overall series, Kelly knows Navy has become a team that fights until the very end.
“A team that fights for four quarters. They’ve won close games. They manage the clock very well. They play smart football. It will be a great challenge for us.”