The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and to a lesser extent the Navy Midshipmen, have national profiles when it comes to a fan base. So they aren’t going to have much of a problem drawing people to a game, wherever that is. On Saturday they will meet up in Jacksonville, at Everbank Field, the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s one for those who can get extra early on the weekend, as it begins at 11:30 AM ET, and BetAnySports patrons who might get up late, or keep themselves in the action into the afternoon, can access Live Betting Ultra and “get down” even after the opening kickoff.
By all accounts, this has been a disastrous season for Notre Dame, which began the campaign with aspirations to challenge for a spot in the college football playoff. And that was despite the loss of seven players who were among the top 104 taken in the NFL Draft. We are not going to say that beating Navy is going to be much of a consolation for them, but instead it is a game they absolutely must have, or so it would seem.
You see, the Irish have dropped five games already, and if a team has more than six losses, they can kiss the post-season goodbye, except in the most extraneous cases like last season, when there were not enough .500 teams to fill the bowl spots. In the final two regular season games, they have to play Virginia Tech, which is in the national rankings, and USC, which is looking every bit the part of ranked team since inserting freshman QB Sam Darnold into the lineup.
In the college football odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Fighting Irish are favored:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -7 (+100)
Navy Midshipmen +7 (-120)
Over 64.5 points -110
Under 64.5 points -110
DeShone Kizer may be the first quarterback taken in the NFL Draft; at least that is what the “gurus” like Mel Kiper are saying. Some NFL scouts are not so sure. Kizer has completed just under 60 of his passes, and he has undergone some veiled criticism from head coach Brian Kelly, who has come under some fire this season, and some of the so-called “insiders’ near the Notre Dame program believe that he has scapegoated his players a little too much. If the Irish wind up with seven or eight losses, the heat could wind up being too much for him to handle.
But BetAnySports patrons should take note that one decision of Kelly’s may be meeting with some success. That is the one where he jettisoned defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and replaced him with Greg Hudson, who has brought a little more order to a situation where ND had allowed 33 points or more four times in the first five games. That hasn’t happened in the three games since Hudson took over. Moreover, they allowed just 296 total yards to Stanford and 306 yards to Miami.
Kelly also does something that is relatively smart, in that he actually employs a “special assistant” who is assigned to help the defensive unit ready itself specifically for option attacks. Bill Elliott will unquestionably earn his pay over the next two games, as the Irish face Navy, which is ranked fifth nationwide in rushing yards per game, then Army, which is #2. That won’t help much when it comes time to facing the aforementioned Darnold, but first things first.
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