Notre Dame football: Kelly: Navy's option game best in country

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND - The first minute or two of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly's weekly press conference Tuesday were spent discussing last Saturday's 45-10 victory over option-oriented Air Force.

With good reason.

The 6-2 and 25th-ranked Irish entertain another option team on Saturday when 4-3 Navy visits Notre Dame Stadium. Navy, according to Kelly, provides another level of expertise in running the difficult-to-prepare-for offense.

"Navy runs the triple option better than anybody else in the country," Kelly said.

While the Irish certainly can use last weekend's victory over Air Force to prepare for the Mids, Kelly sees advantages for Navy as well in that they were able to see how ND plans to defend the offense.

"So that gives them a week to do some things as well," Kelly said. "They've been running the option longer than we've been defending it."

Kelly said Tuesday that nose guard Louis Nix, who did not play in the Air Force game because of a knee injury, is progressing well and worked out Monday. Kelly, however, listed Nix as questionable for Saturday's game.

Kelly also said that defensive end Sheldon Day and offensive guard Chris Watt are listed as probable for Saturday, and that outside linebacker/defensive end Ishaq Williams is out of the game.

Navy won three of four in the series from 2007-10, but ND has won the last two, 56-14 in South Bend two years ago and 50-10 in Dublin, Ireland, to open the 2012 season.

Saturday's game kicks off at 3:42 p.m. (Eastern) and airs on NBC.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, pictured at Air Force, says playing a second straight option foe has its advantages -- for both the Irish and Navy.