The days of Notre Dame using Navy as a patsy in their schedule is long over, as the Midshipmen dominated yesterday's game in coasting to a 35-17 win at the Meadowlands.
It was going to be a lousy day for the Irish from their first drive. It was a pretty methodical one going down the field, and it was fourth and goal at the one yard line. But Dayne Crist tried to sneak it in and the Navy defense stopped him. And six plays later, Navy was on the board with a TD, on a 31-yard pass from Ricky Dobbs to Alexander Teich.
And there was no stopping Navy. They led 21-10 at halftime. Crist and the Irish could move the ball, but he threw two key interceptions that Navy cashed in for points. Dobbs ran in two more for touchdowns, and by the end third quarter, it was 35-10 and many of the Subway Alumni at the Meadowlands had seen enough and headed for the exits. Navy rushed for an amazing 367 yards, the most ever against an Irish team by Navy.
Early in the game, I heard that the Midshipmen sprayed dirt from Iwo Jima and Afghanistan on the big "N" at midfield (it was neautral site game but Navy was considered the home team) to bring them luck. I guess it worked.
Notre Dame had beaten Navy 43 straight times until 2006, and that seems long ago. Navy has now won three of the last four meetings.
I wasn't expecting miracles this season, as it was going to be a serious rebuilding job for Brian Kelly. Next Saturday the 4-4 Irish play Tulsa (4-3) at Notre Dame Stadium.