After a strong 2022 campaign, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will return to action next week with a matchup against the Navy Midshipmen in another chapter of their storied rivalry.
Previewing Notre Dame’s Week 1 Matchup With Navy
The game will take place on August 26th at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.
This is the third time the teams are playing in Dublin, with the last meeting resulting in a 50-10 blowout for the Fighting Irish in 2012.
The season opener will be the 95th meeting between the two teams. Notre Dame has dominated the series, winning 79 out of 94 games, and five straight dating back to 2017. Last season, the Fighting Irish edged out Navy by a final score of 35-32 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Notre Dame enters this year’s matchup ranked number 13 after posting a 9-4 record a year ago.
The Fighting Irish will look a lot different this year with many coaches and players moving on to new teams in college and the pros including Tommy Rees (OC, Alabama), Michael Mayer (TE, Las Vegas Raiders), Isaiah Foskey (DE, New Orleans Saints), and Chris Smith (DT, Seattle Seahawks). They added Sam Hartman at quarterback and boast a strong roster on both sides of the football, especially at the offensive line position.
The Fighting Irish have a tough schedule including matchups with Ohio State, Pittsburgh, USC, and Clemson, but this team is built to win in 2023 with an impressive mix of young and experienced players on both sides of the ball. Expect Notre Dame to come out firing on all cylinders against Navy.
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Navy finished the 2022 campaign with a disappointing 4-8 record on the year.
The Midshipmen experienced a turnover in personnel this offseason. Some of the changes include the firing of longtime head coach Ken Niumatalolo after 15 seasons, the promotion of defensive coordinator Brian Newberry to head coach, and the hiring of Grant Chestnut as offensive coordinator, and Eric Lewis as the team’s safeties coach and passing game coordinator. The personnel changes are expected to change Navy’s offensive philosophy as the team will look to incorporate more passing plays and less option-heavy formations. This could work to Navy’s advantage against Notre Dame, as they will be unpredictable in their playcalling.
On the defensive side, the team possesses depth in the secondary, with Mbiti Williams the standout of the group. Williams finished last season, with 42 tackles, six pass deflections, and an interception and his veteran presence will be valuable for the rest of the unit. With a Notre Dame offense featuring a new quarterback and weapons, this Navy secondary has the chance to make some plays and disrupt Hartman’s debut.
Navy has a favorable schedule this season, with only one ranked opponent coming into the season (Notre Dame) and because of this, they have a chance to take a leap in the standings in 2023.
You can catch the 95th meeting between Notre Dame and Navy on CBS Sports at 2:30 pm on Saturday, August 26th. The game will also air on over 300 Westwood Affiliates and on SiriusXM Channel 84.