Previewing Notre Dame vs. Navy: 10 Things You Should Know
We are so close. Less than two days are left until the Fighting Irish kick off the 2012 football season in Dublin, Ireland. Here are ten things you should know going into the opener vs the Navy Midshipmen:
10. Notre Dame sophomore Everett Golson will make his first career start on Sept. 1 against Navy. He will be the 21st quarterback to make his Irish starting debut since 1985. Notre Dame has a 14-6 record in those previous games. Here I examine the results of the 15 most recent quarterback debuts for the Irish.
9. Notre Dame is 102-16-5 all-time in season openers, and has won 45 of the last 48 games versus Navy. Odds are that this game should end positively for the Irish.
8. Speaking of odds, Vegas has the Irish as 15-point favorites over the Midshipmen currently.
7. Every one of the last five times a Brian Kelly coached team has opened a game with a first-time starting quarterback, Kelly’s team has come out a winner. In fact, he has already accomplished the feat twice with the Irish (Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees).
6. True freshman cornerback KeiVarae Russell will start in the opener, marking the first time a true freshman corner has done so for the Irish. In fact, the only position now that has never had a freshman start the opener for Notre Dame is quarterback.
5. Over 35,000 Americans are making the trip to Ireland for the game this weekend, the largest movement of Americans to Ireland ever. The Emerald Isle Classic is estimated to bring in over $100 million in revenue to Ireland.
4. Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo has more wins in his first four seasons at Navy than any coach previously, with 32.
3. The Maxwell Award is awarded every year to “the nation’s greatest college football player”, but that player is almost never a tight end. This year, Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert made the Maxwell Watch List, and should kick off the 2012 season with quite a few catches from young Everett Golson.
2. Navy does not want this one to be decided by the kicking game. While Notre Dame returns a kicker in Nick Tausch that holds the record for most consecutive field goals made by a freshman (14), the Midshipmen had to hold a seven man kicking competition this offseason just to find someone capable of putting it through the uprights.
1. Notre Dame has never lost an international game (2-0 all-time). The last time they were overseas was against Navy in Dublin in 1996, when the Irish steamrolled the Midshipmen 54-27.