Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/2/12

While most of the talk surrounding the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the offseason was about suspensions, police trouble, injuries and the ever present quarterback controversy, the only thing anyone will be talking about over the coming week will be the physical manhandling the Irish gave the Navy Midshipmen in their season debut. 

Notre Dame eschewed the spread offense that made head coach Brian Kelly famous during his stops at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati, and instead attacked the Navy defense from multiple tight end one-back sets with a heavy emphasis on downhill running.

Quarterback Everett Golson played until garbage time, and completed 12 of 18 pass attempts for 144 yards, one touchdown and one interception. In a stark departure from previous seasons under Kelly, Golson lined up directly under center for most of the game, with Notre Dame only occasionally using shotgun and almost never spreading the field with a true spread look.

Instead, the Irish attack focused on physically manhandling Navy's defensive front seven, and rammed it down the Middies' throat. Notre Dame ran the ball 46 times for 293 yards. Cierre Wood was not missed, as primary back Theo Riddick rushed 19 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Change of pace back George Atkinson JR rushed 9 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns, with a 56 yard run in the first quarter on a simple toss sweep that set the tone early in the game. Even fourth string running back Cam McDaniel added another 59 yards on 9 carries in the second half. 

Navy's flex bone spread option attack that has baffled many of their opponents and helped the school stand toe-to-toe with much more talented teams over the years was almost completely shut down by the Notre Dame defense. The Irish extended their physical domination in the trenches to the defensive side of the ball as well, giving up only 149 yards to the Navy attack.

If there is any negative to take from the Irish's defensive performance, it's that the usually anemic Navy passing attack managed to complete 14 of 20 passes for 193 yards and their lone touchdown. Navy completed two 40 yard passes, and even managed to move the ball against the Irish when they moved to an up tempo shot gun passing attack late in the second quarter. The secondary had the most question marks going into the game, and will remain a question mark going forward. 

All in all, it was a dominating performance for the Fighting Irish, who in the words of hall of fame Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer, "hung half a hundred" on Navy for the second year in a row. Blowing out Navy should not suddenly change your mind about Notre Dame; it was to be expected. But on a day in which numerous big name programs had rough outings against small conference competition, Notre Dame made a strong statement to the college football world. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

DeSean Jackson: Revis, Sherman can't stop me

Rob Gronkowski on Patriots LB Jamie Collins: ‘He’s a freak’

Ray Allen won't officially retire in case he gets right offer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton on taking hits: I'm not a ballerina

Warner impressed by progress made by pupil Kaepernick

Yordano Ventura threatened Jose Bautista on Twitter

Giants GM confirms he has spoken with Jason Pierre-Paul

Sam Bradford on target to start season opener for Eagles

NFL official: Footballs known to have leaks 'right out of the box'

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is waiting for Tim Duncan to match him

Report: James Harden received $200 million offer to join Adidas

Adrian Peterson, son featured in Vikings' 'Family Day' tweet

July's best and worst players in Major League Baseball

Why TCU and Baylor will again dominate the Big 12

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker