Nov. 4, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – We never lost focus on Navy because we knew they had the potential to come in here and upset us. What made that difficult was the fact that the week before, Navy let a 26-0 lead over Akron slip away and lost the game. However, we also knew that Navy went to Morgantown three weeks ago and beat West Virginia, after almost coming away with victories over Boston College and Air Force.
This was the same Navy team that has given us fits over the years. It was important for us not to fall into the trap of what the media and fans think about Navy. The only thing that matters is what we, as a team, think about Navy. It is unfortunate that the public tends to see a close score and assume that we were looking past Navy.
Did we play well? No, we did not play particularly well and Navy also did some good things. We spent two weeks, concentrating on how to beat Navy and the wishbone.
Anytime you don’t play well and you don’t get the results you anticipated, frustration naturally sets in. That frustration comes from knowing you could and should be playing better. Most of our mistakes as a team were simply a lack of execution.
So much of what we do hinges on the play of Jarious Jackson. Jarious made some uncharacteristic plays, and I am sure that to some degree his mistakes were a little contagious. It is important to remember that Jarious also made several key plays to help us win that game.
Jarious was concerned about his performance in the game. He did not play particularly well, considering the standards he has set with his play the past two seasons. Regardless of how he plays in a particular game, Jarious has a major impact on this football team.
Sometimes we tend to focus on the negatives, but it is important to keep the positives in mind as well. Jarious ran 57 yards on an option play, which was basically him creating something out of nothing. He takes the team down and scores to win the game when it was looking bleak. He converts on fourth and ten on a sight adjustment on the free safety blitz to keep the drive alive. Jarious came back and made some great plays for us to win that game.
We had decided before the game that we were not going to watch the film of this game. There is not much carryover and teaching to be done from it this week. The defense did not watch it at all because the Navy game is a scheme be itself. We took some clips from the offense and the kicking game that we thought we could learn from.
We did watch the things we needed to address. I just did not feel that watching the Navy tape would help us much in our preparation for Tennessee. We wanted that extra time to prepare for Tennessee.