Don’t let the 23-21 final score fool you. This game wasn't even close.
For the second time in three years, the Navy Midshipmen were able to defeat Notre Dame in South Bend. This time, in a mistake riddled game played by the Irish.
Jimmy Clausen threw for 452 yards and two touchdowns, including one to each of his superstars Golden Tate and Michael Floyd, yet the offense only managed post a whopping 21 points on the scoreboard.
So much for Jimmy Clausen’s Heisman hopes. So much for quieting Charlie Weis’ critics. And most importantly, so much for Notre Dame’s BCS hopes.
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs was pulling strings like he was orchestrating a puppet show on the field. The Irish defense was befuddled by Navy’s triple option offense; so much so that they let up two 100-yard rushers. Dobbs went for 102 yards and fullback Vince Murray went for 158 yards on only 14 carries. It wasn’t the penetrable pass defense that failed the Irish this time, Navy wouldn’t let it; they attempted a mere three passes the entire ballgame.
Yes, it was a backbreaking loss for Notre Dame, who returned arguably the most talented wide receiver in the country, Mike Floyd. Earlier in the week, Coach Weis told the media that Floyd would play sparingly. Floyd finished the game with 10 catches for 141 yards and a TD. He was targeted about 400 times throughout the day. Weis’ statements proved to be
Floyd’s counterpart, Golden Tate- probably the second best wide receiver in the nation- had a day himself, catching nine balls for 132 yards.
But, it just wasn’t enough to come back from two fumbles, two missed field goals by freshman kicker Nick Tausch, six penalties, and a gift-wrapped interception.
Skies remain cloudy for Notre Dame, as they have to travel to Pittsburgh to take on the 8-1 Panthers.
Playing for pride only.