Notre Dame's schedule is one of the most challenging of this football season.
And coach Brian Kelly is happy to get one challenge out of the way in the season opener, Navy's triple-option offense.
"We'd rather have it this way than have them in the middle of the season," Kelly said. "Its till doesn't make the task any easier in the sense of how you have to execute on game day.
"You could have three weeks, five weeks. If you don't play assignment football, if you're not disciplined, Navy will beat you."
After the Irish play Navy on Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland, they return home to play Purdue on Sept. 8.
Notre Dame then plays the first of five opponents ranked in the USA Today preseason coaches poll Top 25 as the Irish, who are ranked No. 24 in the poll, travel to play at No. 13 Michigan State on Sept. 15.
Notre Dame follows that game with a home night game against No. 8 Michigan, and the Irish also have No. 18 Stanford (Oct. 13), No. 4 Oklahoma (Oct. 27) and No. 3 USC (Nov. 24) on their schedule.
Kelly said the team is embracing the challenge of the season.
"We want to play these kinds of schedules," Kelly said. "Now our players understand how they have to go attack it.
"You can't climb Mt. Everest in one day, but you can do it with great preparation. You can do it with the focus from one day, one moment, one hour at a time. And we'll look at our schedule and say one game at a time. If we do that, we think we can get to the top of the mountain."