Notre Dame hopes to bounce back from last Saturday's 24-22 loss at Clemson that featured four costly Irish turnovers along with late rallies that gave them a chance to tie.
The Irish and quarterback DeShone Kizer fought back from a 21-3 second half deficit with two touchdown passes, including a one-yard TD completion to Torii Hunter Jr. with seven seconds left in regulation.
But the Tigers stopped Kizer's potential game-tying two-point conversion run and then recovered Notre Dame's onside kick to secure the win.
"I said I was very disappointed in them, we're not here for moral victories," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "We're too far along in our program for that. We've got to come down here and beat Clemson, and you can't beat Clemson turning the ball over four times and starting tentative on defense."
The No. 15 Irish (4-1) are back home on Saturday against an unbeaten but unranked Navy team (4-0, 2-0 American) featuring a well-honed and tricky option attack and improved defense.
"I voted for them in USA Today Top 25 as a top 25 team," Kelly said. "I think they've earned that. Their defense as well has developed. It's played the kind of defense that I think a top 25 team plays."
Saturday's game will be the 89th consecutive yearly meeting, the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country.
Notre Dame holds a 75-12-1 (.858) edge.
Other than a 2012 season-opener, this is the first Notre Dame-Navy game with just one or fewer losses between the two teams since Nov. 2, 1957 -- a 20-6 win for Navy (5-1) at Notre Dame (4-0).
"We know we've got our hands full to stop a very potent offensive attack," Kelly said. "Coach (Ken Niumatalolo) does a great job of utilizing multiple formations, multiple looks in running their offense. Obviously, the quarterback (Keenan Reynolds) has played against us for four years. We're very aware of him."
In four games this season Reynolds has rushed for 488 yards and nine touchdowns and passed for 265 more plus two TDs.
Irish running back C.J. Prosise ranks ninth nationally with 650 rushing yards and 13th with 156.2 all-purpose yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
--QB DeShone Kizer had 321 passing yards against Clemson, the most by an Irish signal caller since Everett Golson's 446 at Arizona State on Nov. 8, 2014. He rushed for two TDs and threw for another -- a last second toss to Torii Hunter Jr. that trimmed the margin to two points.
--RB C.J. Prosise finished with a career-high 100 receiving yards, including a 56-yard pass from Kizer -- the longest of his career his third longest reception ever. He also rushed from for 50 more.
--CB Cole Luke made his second interception of the year tonight and the sixth of his career. Luke has both of Notre Dame's interceptions on the season.
--WR Torii Hunter Jr. had his first TD catch since the night he made his collegiate debut -- Sept. 27, 2014 -- vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,N.J.
--WR Chris Brown had his two longest receptions of the season against Clemson, good for 34 and 33 yards.
--PK Justin Yoon's 46-yard first quarter field goal is a career-long, eclipsing his 45-yard boot at Virginia on Sept. 12.