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Notre Dame-Navy: 10 To 1 Countdown

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No.3-ranked Notre Dame takes on 2-5 Navy tonight in San Diego. (Angela Driskell)

10 San Diego will be the 10th different city to host a neutral-site Notre Dame-Navy game, and the first west of Chicago. The uninterrupted series since 1927 has never been played on Navy’s home turf in Annapolis, Md. The previous nine sites included Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, East Rutherford, N.J., Landover, Md., Orlando, Fla., and Jacksonville, Fla., in the United States, plus outings in Dublin, Ireland in 1996 and 2012.

Earlier this week it was announced the 2020 Notre Dame-Navy contest also will be in Dublin on Aug. 29.

9 A victory versus Navy would run Notre Dame’s winning streak to nine, dating back to the Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl. That would make it the school’s second-longest winning streak in the past 25 years from 1994-2018, behind only the 12-0 start in 2012.

The 1998, 2002 and 2006 Irish teams had eight-game winning streaks like the current edition.

In the 69 years since 1950, nine previous Notre Dame teams also started 8-0: 1964, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2002 and 2012.

8 Ranking of junior quarterback Ian Book nationally in pass efficiency with a 167.9 figure, which is on pace to break Jimmy Clausen’s single season standard at Notre Dame of 161.42 set in 2009 (moving just past Bob Williams' 161.37 set for the 1949 national champs). He ranks first in the country in completion percentage (75.2), and enters this contest having completed his last 10 passes against Pitt to rally the Irish to a 19-14 victory.

Meanwhile, Navy is 112th among 129 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in pass efficiency defense (151.22 rating).

7 In the last seven seasons (2012-18), this will be the fifth time Notre Dame will enter the month of November with zero or only one defeat, with the others occurring in 2012 (8-0), 2014 (7-1), 2015 (7-1), 2017 (7-1) and this year (7-0 so far).

Consider that in the 18 previous years from 1994-2011 it occurred only three times (1998, 2002 and 2006).

6 Possessions Notre Dame had versus Navy — believed to be a school record low — two years ago in a 28-27 loss. Last year the Irish had seven series on offense, but possessed the ball only 17:18 (to Navy's 42:42), which also is believed to be a school record low, during a 24-17 victory.

5 Unbeaten teams remaining in the FBS this year: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Central Florida and South Florida. The Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide are the only undefeated teams remaining that have each recorded at least six wins over teams from Power Five conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12).

4 Road games for the Fighting Irish in their final five regular season contests this year. Per the University’s media relations office, the team will travel an estimated 8,731 miles in the 30 days from Oct. 26 through Nov. 25 to San Diego (Navy), Evanston (Northwestern), Newark (Syracuse) and Los Angeles (USC).

3 Navy ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game with a 309.4 output, behind only fellow triple-option brethren Georgia Tech (366.5) — coached by 2002-07 Navy coach Paul Johnson — and Army West Point (318.5). Wisconsin is a more distant fourth at 282.1.

2 Times Navy has defeated Notre Dame in 38 previous meetings when Notre Dame was ranked in the Associated Press top 10 at the time of the game. The Midshipmen are 2-35-1, with the victories occurring in 1957 and 1944, and the tie in 1945.

1 Touchdown allowed by the Notre Dame defense in the second half of the past three games while outscoring Stanford 17-3, Virginia Tech 28-7 and Pitt 13-7. Pitt’s lone score came on a kickoff return, while Virginia Tech’s touchdown came with only 5:40 remaining and the Irish already ahead 38-16.


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