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Notre Dame football vs. Navy: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Fighting Irish battle Midshipmen

Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the field before a game agaoinst the Ball State Cardinals at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Ball State 24-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the field before a game agaoinst the Ball State Cardinals at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Ball State 24-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Notre Dame and Navy renew the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the nation on Saturday evening from SDCCU Stadium in San Diego. The Fighting Irish, who are coming off their bye week, entering the weekend ranked third No. 3 in the country, while the Midshipmen are hoping to snap a four-game losing streak.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Notre Dame -23.5.

 

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Notre Dame finds itself squarely in the College Football Playoff discussion but will need to play much better than it did Oct. 13 against Pittsburgh if it hopes to be playing in a national semifinal. Two weeks ago, Notre Dame was barely able to avoid being upset at home as Miles Boykin caught a touchdown pass from Ian Book with 5:43 remaining in the fourth quarter for the comeback win. Navy went toe-to-toe with Houston’s high-flying offense for the first half last week but couldn’t keep pace after the break as the Cougars pulled away for the 49-36 win. Finishing games has been an issue for the Midshipmen lately as they’ve been outscored 66-19 in the second halves of their last three games.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (7-0)

Notre Dame’s offense had been humming since Book took over at quarterback on September 22 at Wake Forest, averaging 46.3 points over three games until sputtering to 19 against Pitt two weeks ago. The Panthers were able to hold the Irish to 80 total rushing yards on 38 attempts, their lowest output of the season. The Fighting Irish will get a boost at running back this week as Jafar Armstrong (245 rushing yards, five touchdowns) is expected to return to the lineup - the sophomore has missed the last two games with a knee infection.

ABOUT NAVY (2-5)

Navy’s famed triple-option attack gave Notre Dame fits last season as the Midshipmen were able to hold the ball for 42:42 to Notre Dame’s 17:18. This season, the Midshipmen are averaging 310.1 rushing yards per game (third in the nation) and are led by running backs Malcolm Perry (127 carries for 729 yards and seven touchdowns), Nelson Smith (57, 307 and one) and Anthony Gargiulo (48, 176, zero). Quarterback Garret Lewis is also a key running threat with 68 carries for 244 yards, but he’s made only 49 pass attempts on the season, completing 24 of them for 346 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Notre Dame is 75-13-1 all-time against Navy and has won six of the last nine, including a 24-17 home win last season.

2. Book completed his final 10 passes and was 13-of-14 for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the second half against Pitt.

3. Senior Bennett Moehring became Navy’s all-time leader in points by a kicker (195) in the loss to Houston.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 31, Navy 14

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