Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been putting in the hard hours lately, devising a strategy to stop the recent run of losses against Navy, whom the Fighting Irish will take on at New Meadowlands Stadium, New Jersey, on October 23.
Notre Dame had notched up 43 consecutive occasions but, in the last three encounters between the sides, Navy have won two. Kelly doesn’t want this to happen again, and has been doing his homework.
"This will be our fifth week now, that we have been running Navy's offense with our scout team," Kelly said Sunday. "We feel like we've been preparing for this offense for the last month.
In those three most recent games, Navy has notched up an impressive turn-around of results. In 2007, Navy overturned the 43-year hoodoo with a touchdown in triple-overtime, which they converted. Notre Dame touched donw as well, but failed to convert, leaving the score 46-44.
In that game, they ran for 257 yards against Notre Dame. Though they only racked up 178 yards during game the following year – in which Irish scraped a 27-21 victory – they managed 348 yards the following year in Navy’s 23-21 victory.
Just as worrying is the amount of turnovers that Irish have notched in those games – nine, compared to Navy’s two.
For Kelly, preparation is key to eradicating these errors.
"When you're playing both Navy and Army in your schedule, you can't just take two days and practice against this offense. This was a decision we made last spring, preparing for both of those teams with our 'look' squads. It's only about 15 to 20 minutes each day."
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore