Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mids Appear to Have Notre Dame's Number with a 35-17 Win

By Trevor Replogle
Mid-Atlantic Sports

Navy came into this afternoon's game against Notre Dame with a lot of confidence. They had won their past two games and had knocked off the Irish two of the past three years. It didn't take very long for that confidence to increase.

On Notre Dame's opening drive, the Navy defense stepped up and held the Irish on a fourth-and-goal from inside the one yard line. Navy then proceeded to drive the ball 99 yards on 6 plays to give the Midshipmen a 7-0 lead.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was very disappointed with the result.

"We outman them by 70 pounds on average up front. If you can't get a foot on the one-half yard line, you get what you deserve."
Alexander Teich led the offense on their opening drive with two career bests - a 54-yard rush and a 31-yard, one-handed reception for the TD. That would be a sign for how the afternoon would go for Teich - and Notre Dame.

Teich's production from the fullback spot (26 carries and 210 yards) kept the Irish on their heels and opened the door for quarterback, Ricky Dobbs to continue to move up the NCAA's list of all-time rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks.

Teich, who started the season as a backup to Vince Murray, became the first Navy fullback to ever rush for over 200 yards. The offense as a team amassed 367 yards rushing, the most by any Navy team in the Notre Dame series.

Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo was pleased with Teich's performance.

"I'm very proud of him. He typifies our team. He lost out on the starting job last year and he didn't sulk or complain. He accepted his role and was a cheerleader for (starter) Vince Murray. When you run like he did today, the guys up front are doing their jobs."

With the Notre Dame defense primed to stop Teich, Dobbs was able to rush for 92 yards on 20 carries and found the endzone three times. Dobbs is now tied for 10th on the NCAA's all-time rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks, tied with former Navy QB Chris McCoy.

Although the Navy offense performed as efficiently and scored the most points that they had all season, coach Buddy Green's Navy defense was just as impressive. The defensive played a bend-but-don't-break style and matched Notre Dame's speed throughout the afternoon.

De'Von Richardson and Kwesi Mitchell were both able to pick off Irish QB Dayne Crist and both turnovers led to touchdowns by Navy.

Kelly was obviously not happy with his team in the redzone.

"Navy did what they need to do. There were bend but don't break and they when they got in short field they kept us out of the endzone. When we got close we couldn't get it in the endzone."

Niumatalolo felt that this was Navy's most complete performance of the season.

"We knew that in order to compete against Notre Dame, we had to play at a high level. We couldn't play like how we've played in other games this year and have a chance to compete. Like I said, I'm just proud of our young men for the way they played. No doubt, the most complete game of the year for our football team."

Navy improved their record to 5-2 while Notre Dame fell to 4-4. The Mids return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium next Saturday when they host Duke. Notre Dame will play host to Tulsa next weekend in South Bend.

Photos by Travis Replogle

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