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Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen

Notre Dame vs. Navy report card

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Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen

And for the third straight season, Notre Dame’s football season has become as irrelevant as a VCR. You know the Saturday’s game is a joke when Navy scores two points in the fourth quarter…and still wins. 

Offense

21 points just doesn’t cut it.  Not with the kind of talent on this team. I think Notre Dame is the only school that can rack up 502 yards of offense and only score three touchdowns; one of which was in the last minute. Really, it’s incredible. Clausen’s two turnovers in the red zone - a fumble down by the goal line in the third quarter and an interception late in the fourth - were absolutely brutal.  

However, bright spots remain.Tate and Floyd continue to duel to see who’s the best receiver in the nation. Combined, they caught 19 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns.I dare you to find me a more talented duo of receivers on the same offense in college football.  Or even the pros. 

I want to mention Clausen’s name in the Heisman race, but it’s nearly impossible now that his club is 6-3.  His 452 passing yards and 37 completions were both career highs, but Heisman voters crave wins like players crave ice after games. 

It was also shocking that the running game was non-existent.  Riddick was the leading rusher with 35 yards, followed by Hughes with 20 yards on seven carries.  Grade: B-

Defense

One way or the other, you know the ND defense is going to get lit up.  This time it was the rush D that failed them.  Miserably. 

Everyone knows Navy is going to run the ball.  Where was the triple-option preparation?  Isn’t this supposed to be the strong point of the Irish defense?  Don’t they enjoy stopping the run?  Then how did they let Navy gash them for 348 rushing yards? 

Fullback Vince Murray killed the Irish for 158 yards and QB Ricky Dobbs added a 102 yards of his own.

I can’t even say ND’s pass defense played well.  Two of the three passes Dobbs threw were complete, including one that went for a 52-yard touchdown.   Ugly would be the nice way to put it.  Grade: D

Special Teams

Nick Tausch picked the worst day to have his worst game of the season.  The young placekicker missed both short field goal attempts, including one from 41- yards on ND’s second possession of the game.  

Here’s an interesting stat; the Irish lost a game in which they didn’t punt the ball.  That’s right, not one single punt.  Grade: D

Overall
Deflating loss for Notre Dame.  Not taking anything away from Navy, who is very much improved, but the Irish really needed this one.  Just a sloppy, mistake riddled game that you thought wouldn't happen anymore.  Now they have to go to Pitt to take on a bulldog of a team.  Yikes.
Grade:  C-

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