After Navy lost to Notre Dame in 2008, I said this:
If there’s a silver lining in all this, it’s that maybe Notre Dame’s defensive success this year will lead them to line up the same way in 2009.
That’s exactly what the Irish did, and Navy won. It makes me wonder what some coaches see when they watch film after a game. It’s sort of amazing how little understanding there is of the Navy offense among some of the Mids’ opponents. Navy made a lot of mistakes in that 2008 loss to the Irish, but apparently the Notre Dame staff didn’t recognize it. They lined up the same way the following year, only this time, Navy corrected their past mistakes.
Looking at the stat sheet from 2008, you can sort of sympathize with Notre Dame’s coaches for feeling comfortable about their game plan. The Mids only had 178 rushing yards that day, and completed only 3 passes in 14 attempts. The final score was close, but that was thanks to a furious last-minute comeback. For most of the game, Navy’s offense didn’t do much of anything. Even if they didn’t recognize all the missed opportunities Navy had to beat their defense, there was at least a statistical basis for Notre Dame’s coaches thinking that their gameplan was sound.