Three keys to a Navy upset of Notre Dame

Three keys to a Navy upset of Notre Dame

With just a few hours left before Navy and Notre Dame take to the field in Dublin it is time to look at three keys which will help the Midshipmen upset the Irish in their own (kind of) backyard.

1) Turn the Crowd.

We all know what home field advantage means in the college game. Simply put, it can be the difference between victory and defeat. As per schedule this is actually a home game for the Academy, although playing the Irish in Ireland obviously gives Notre Dame the edge in initial crowd support. For Navy to truly have a shot in this game they need to get the neutral fans on their side early. This will have the dual effect of blunting the Notre Dame following and providing an extra swell of emotion which to ride. The option running game is the perfect way to do this in a country where rugby is king.

2) Get to Everett Golson Early.

Eventually, after a three way camp battle, freshman Everett Golson was named starter for the Dublin clash. This capped a meteoric rise for Golson who went from fourth stringer on no one's radar to starting quarterback at one of the most storied schools in the country in 12 months. Golson is obviously talented, his 151 touchdown passes in high school are the sixth highest in history on a national level, but he has never taken a collegiate snap. If Navy can find a way to pressure him early there is every chance the bright lights could get to him. Plus at just 185 pounds Golson is still small for a modern quarterback. Expect Buddy Green to scheme some blitzes early to put the freshman on his back.

3) Use Trey Miller Effectively.

Yes, the triple option is the staple at Navy, but with Trey Miller under center the Midshipmen have the ability to move the ball through the air more effectively than at any time in recent history. Though the bread and butter will still be full back dives and sweeps by the slot backs, Miller will allow coach Niumatalolo to open up the playbook and show the true complexity of his offense. Just the threat of the pass has often been enough for Navy in the past, but with Miller having had a full spring and fall practice schedule to work with his team mates it is not unrealistic to expect Navy to exploit teams with the passing game.

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