The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-5) come off an impressive victory over the nationally ranked Utah Utes to face their storied rivals The Army Black Knights (6-5) this weekend. The teams meet for the 50th time in the inaugural college football game to be played under the lights of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The game will be broadcasted Saturday, November 20th at 7 PM on NBC.
Without further ado here is the Preview for this week’s Notre Dame Army match up…
Notre Dame Offense
Talented Freshman QB Tommy Rees aims to continue his winning ways against Army this week. His three touchdown performance against the Utes last week was the first ever such display by a Notre Dame QB in their first game. On the season Rees has 542 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs, and a 62.7% completion rate.
The Irish O-Line has allowed 19 sacks on the season and faces a formidable Army Defensive Line that has 22 sacks on the year and allows 140 yards.
RB Cierra Woods, starting for the injured Armando Allen, has 345 yards and 2 TDs on the year.
Against Utah Woods gained 71 yards. Robert Hughes and Jonas Gray will get touches as well.
On the receiving end Duval Kamara came up big against the Utes with 2 TDs. WR Michael Floyd’s 767 yards and 9 TDs leads this unit. Floyd is only 2 TDs shy of Golden Tate’s Notre Dame Record for TDs in a season. TJ Jones should be back with his 22 catches, 287 yards, and 3 TDs this week against Army. Also look for TE Eifert and Robby Toma to get targeted too.
Notre Dame Defense
The defense is ranked 66th in the nation. The squad yields 225.1 yards a game passing. They shut out Utah from the second quarter on, limiting The Utes to 265 yards of total offense (a season-low for the Utes) and 71 yards rushing. At this pace ND looks good against the Army rushing and passing attack.
This defense is paced by DLs Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore (combining for 73 Tackles, 8.5 TFLs, and 7 sacks), LBs Manti-Teo (190 Tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 1 Sack) and Carlo Calabrese (59 tackles, 5 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks on the season).
The Black Knights are led by Sophomore QB Trent Steelman’s 798 yards, 56.5% rate, and 5 TDs. He is also dangerous on the ground with 596 yards rushing and 11 TDs.
The Offensive line is a veteran one with 4 returned starters and has allowed only 4 sacks. It is quite undersized however with four players 6-4 and smaller.
Army averages 272 yards rushing per contest. It’s led by FB Jared Hassin and his 858 yards, 9 TDs, and 5.8 yards per carry. RB's Patrick Mealy, Malcolm Brown, and Brain Cobbs pick up the rest of the slack with 945 yards and 10 TDs.
WR Austin Barr leads the Black Knights with 13 receptions for 202 yards and 3 TDs.
The defense is ranked 28th overall and its passing attack is 8th in the nation and lets up 186.6 yards per contest. It has 22 sacks. The Defensive stars for The Black Knights are DL Josh McNary (39 tackles, 12 TFLs, 9.5 sacks. Has army record for sacks in a career), LB Stephen Anderson, undersized at 5-10 and 229 Lbs, (72 Tackles, 8.5 TFLs, INT) and DB Donovan Travis (4 INTs).
Notre Dame is glowing after a huge victory against a ranked opponent that may have saved their bowl chances this season. The defense proved itself worthy in stopping the run and the passing of the Utes. I believe this defensive domination of the Fighting Irish will continue against the Black Knights. The Irish are just too strong and big on both sides of the ball for Army. Plus The Tommy Rees express will continue barreling on through to the end zone. Plus Army has won against pushover teams (North Texas, Duke, Tulane, Kent State etc) all season.
Sure the Army will be all it can be. But that won’t be nearly enough.
Notre Dame 27 Army 14