Navy's offense runs through 4 Ricky Dobbs, who has given the Irish fits in the past. Dobbs is averaging 22 carries and 63 yards rushing per game. But the Middies are also leveraging Dobbs's throwing ability, as he's averaging 13 attempts, seven completions, and 111 yards per game. Dobbs has five rushing touchdowns to four passing, which has to be the best ratio for any recent Navy QB.
This year, Navy has two players sharing time at the fullback spot. 39 Alexander Teich and 47 Vine Murray are both averaging nine carries per game. Murray has had a little more success, averaging 57 yards per game and five yards per carry to Teich's 38 and four.
The slot backs are 20 Andre Byrd and 21 Gee Gee Greene, both small and speedy. Byrd is averaging three carries and 24 yards per game; Greene six and 46. Both are averaging an impressive seven yards per carry.
Navy's fullbacks may have more trouble running the ball than in past years, as Notre Dame's middle defenders - Ian Williams, Manti Te'o, and Carlo Calabrese - have been stout against the rush. The concern for the Irish all season has been discipline on outside runs, which could mean big days for Dobbs, Byrd, and Greene.
In the passing game, both Gee Gee Greene and senior wideout 84 Greg Jones are averaging two catches and 36 yards per game.
Navy's defense is giving up 163 yards per game on he ground and 160 in the air. Their 3-4 defense is heavy on the left side, led by linebackers 29 Aaron McCauley and 54 Tyler Simmons and defensive end 98 Jabaree Tuani. McCauley is first on the team in tackles and TFL, while Simmons is second in the former and Tuani is second in the latter.
McCauley also leads the team in sacks with two, followed by Tuani and fellow DE 90 Billy Yarborough. Middle linebackers Simmons and 44 Max Blue, safety 7 Emett Merchant, and rover (strong safety) 8 Wyatt Middleton.
On special teams, wide receiver 83 Gary Myers is averaging seven yards per punt return, 217-pound fullback Teich is averaging 26 yards per kick return, 16 Joe Buckley has made five of eight field goal attempts (long 42), and 35 Kyle Delahooke is averaging 39 yards per punt with a long of 61. The Midshipmen are giving up 12 yards per punt return and 29 yards per kickoff return. Opponents' average start on kickoffs is the 33 yard line.
In injury news for the Irish, both Theo Riddick and Jamoris Slaughter are having MRIs on their ankles this week. If Riddick can't go, TJ Jones will take his position in the slot with John Goodman starting on the outside.