The 2023 College Football season will officially kick off at 2:30 EST on Saturday with Notre Dame facing Navy in Dublin, Ireland.
Notre Dame comes in with a preseason rank of #13 and they have a lot of buzz around the program with the way they finished last season and the huge addition of quarterback Sam Hartman through the transfer portal in the offseason. Marcus Freeman enters his second season as Head Coach for the Fighting Irish and they finished 9-4 last season. They have higher hopes this season and will be looking to make a statement in this game to start the season. Notre Dame has dominated the All-Time head to head series with Navy by winning 85% of the games.
Notre Dame vs Navy
Kickoff: 2:30 EST
Location: Aviva Stadium (Dublin, Ireland)
Spread: Notre Dame -20.5
Notre Dame vs Navy Preview
Notre Dame is clearly the better team here and that’s why they are favored by three touchdowns in this game. There is some rain in the forecast for this game but I don’t think that will hold back the Fighting Irish from unleashing their newest weapon with QB Sam Hartman who threw for 38 touchdowns at Wake Forest last season. This Navy defense’s weak link is their secondary so I expect Notre Dame to attack that weakness early and often. There are some questions with the group of receivers that Hartman will be throwing to this season but I think this matchup against a weak Navy secondary will allow them to get on the same page at game speed right from the get go. Notre Dame’s offensive line should give Hartman more than enough time to find the open guy and make some big plays. On the flip side, when you think of the Navy offense, you think about a strong running game and the triple option offense. We should see more of that in this game and they had success on the ground against Notre Dame last season rushing for 255 yards. Notre Dame’s defense projects to be strong this season but their number one focus will need to be on stopping the run. Navy wants this game to turn into a grind it out, long drive type of game to keep the high powered Irish offense on the sideline as much as possible. That’s the only way Navy has a chance at making this any sort of game and covering the spread.
Notre Dame vs Navy Prediction
Notre Dame jumped out to a 35-13 lead by halftime in last year’s meeting before Navy stormed back in the second half to fall just short of a comeback with a 35-32 final score. One thing I will guarantee is that if Notre Dame gets up three touchdowns in this game this year, the offense will not go missing in action for the whole second half to allow a comeback. It all depends on what Navy can do on offense to generate and sustain long drives. If they can’t do that, then I expect Notre Dame to win this game in an absolute route. Sam Hartman is one of the best quarterbacks in College Football and he’s a guy who makes the guys around him better. I’m not buying into the critics who don’t think the guys around him will be good enough or it taking time for them to play well together, especially against a weak Navy secondary. I think we will see Navy make it tough for about a quarter and then I think Notre Dame will start to pull away.
Notre Dame 49 Navy 23
Notre Dame vs Navy Pick
Navy Over (13.5)
As confident as I am in Notre Dame’s offense giving them the edge and the fact that if they are clicking on all cylinders I just don’t think the Navy offense can keep pace. But just because I don’t think Navy can keep pace with Notre Dame offensively, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they will go over their team total which is currently listed at 13.5 on Fanduel Sportsbook. Two touchdowns!? That seems easy just because they should have plenty of opportunities on offense because Notre Dame is going to score a lot of points themselves in this game. Navy’s primary offensive attack is the triple option but they did get a new offensive coordinator who could throw a few wrinkles into the attack. Looking back at recent meetings, Navy has gone over 13.5 in 8 of the last 9 games against Notre Dame. Let's ride that trend and the Midshipmen to score at least 14 points.