As the Irish get set to take on Navy, they are preparing to do so without the help of come key weapons.
The latest in a long line of injuries is the high-ankle sprain sustained by No. 2 reciever Theo Riddick. He’s already been ruled out of Saturday’s game and severely weakens a Notre Dame offense that is already reeling.
After the Irish’s win over Pittsburgh two weeks ago, Kyle Rudolph was deemed done for the season because he needs surgery on his injured hamstring. That news that may mean we’ve seen the last of Rudolph, maybe the top NFL tight end prospect in football, in a Notre Dame uniform.
In addition to Rudolph, Michael Floyd is dealing with a hamstring injury, though it didn’t seem to affect him against Western Michigan, as he hauled in three touchdown passes.
In the backfield, Armando Allen is hurt (surprise, surprise) with a hip pointer and only got three carries in the first half against Western Michigan, failing to pick up a single yard.
Saturdays game will truly test how deep this Notre Dame team is.
Navy, once again, is an underrated team that has overcome a slow start to win back-to-back games on its way to a 4-2 record heading into the Meadowlands.
Defensively, Navy is ranked ninth overall in pass defense. However, that does not mean they are not vulnerable. The Midshipmen have allowed five touchdowns through the air in their last two games. The key to this matchup is whether or not fill-ins, such as T.J. Jones and Tyler Eifert can step up and help the passing game.
Both have shown an ability to make a difference, albeit against teams with defenses that aren’t very good. Jones caught three passes, including a touchdown in back-to-back games against Purdue and Michigan, but has had only one multi-catch game since. Eifert caught four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown against Western Michigan.
Can they provide enough support to allow Dayne Crist and Floyd to get it done?