Thanks to ESPN Stats & Info and sports information departments for these tidbits:
These teams have met every year starting in 1927. Notre Dame previously had a 43-game winning streak against Navy. The longest Navy winning streak against Notre Dame is two games. Last year’s meeting was played in Dublin, Ireland, the season opener for both teams. Notre Dame drubbed Navy 50-10, the first win a in a undefeated regular season for the Fighting Irish.
From 1964 through 2006, Notre Dame went 43-0 against Navy. That streak was the most consecutive wins against a major opponent in FBS history. From 2007 through last season, however, the teams are 3-3 against each other. That includes Navy winning two of the last three meetings in South Bend. If Navy wins this game, it will have four wins in a seven-game span overall against Notre Dame for the first time since 1957-63.
Notre Dame allowed 2.2 yards per play in the red zone last season, tied for the second fewest in FBS. Through eight games this season, the Fighting Irish have allowed as many red-zone touchdowns (13) as they had allowed all of last season.
Notre Dame is getting big contributions from freshmen this season and that was highlighted last week when freshmen WR Corey Robinson and WR Will Fuller both caught touchdown passes. Notre Dame said it’s only the third time in school history that two freshman have caught touchdowns in the same game. The others instances were 2007, by Golden Tate and Duval Kamara, and 1988 by Rocket Ismail and Derek Brown.
Beating Notre Dame in November under Brian Kelly has been a rare feat. The Irish are 10-1 in November games under Kelly and the only loss came in 2011 at No. 6 Stanford. Since Kelly came to Notre Dame in 2010, only two FBS schools have a better November record: Northern Illinois (11-0) and Stanford (12-1). “October is for pretenders and November is for contenders,” Kelly said. “We try to ingrain that within our players’, coaches’ minds that this is now the time to kick it into gear because this is where you get the opportunity to play for championships.”
The Irish are 25th in the BCS standings this week though just outside of the rankings in the AP poll (first team in “others receiving votes.”) What would it take for the Irish to get to a BCS bowl? BCS rules state that Notre Dame will have an automatic berth if it is in the top eight of the final BCS standings. The Irish would almost certainly have to win out, including a win at No. 5 Stanford, to finish 10-2 and make a case for a top-eight spot in the BCS standings. Stanford is the only remaining currently-ranked opponent on Notre Dame’s schedule. If Notre Dame is in the top 14 and has at least nine wins, it is eligible for an at-large selection to a BCS bowl.
Navy is the least-penalized team in FBS. The Midshipmen are the only FBS team averaging fewer than three penalties per game (2.9) and are tallying just 23.4 penalty yards per game, also the lowest total in FBS. That’s almost one-fourth the penalty yardage as the most-penalized team in FBS, Houston (82.7 penalty yards per game).