Game Recap: Navy

Author: Corinne Quane

On the chilly but sunny afternoon of Nov. 6, the 10th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish faced the unranked Navy Midshipman in the 94th matchup of their long-standing rivalry. The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry commenced in 1927, and Notre Dame leads the series 79-13-1. Though rivals for quite some time, both teams have a deep respect for one another, something that is sure to continue well into the future. 

Starting in the first quarter with a strong line of defense, Notre Dame defensive linemen Kurt Hinish and Jordan Botelho both sacked the Navy quarterback on consecutive plays. The defense continued their hold on the Navy offense, preventing them from making it to the end zone. Towards the end of the first quarter, the Midshipmen made a field goal for a 3-0 lead. 

In the second quarter, the Fighting Irish offense rebounded. Graduate transfer quarterback Jack Coan completed a pass to Kevin Austin Jr., putting the Irish within ten yards of the end zone. On fourth down, the Irish scored a 24-yard field goal, knotting the game at three. Then, within the last three minutes of the second quarter, the offense ignited for two touchdowns. First, Kyren Williams pushed through the Navy defense on a one-yard rush to earn Notre Dame their first touchdown of the game. With less than a minute left in the quarter, Jack Coan again completed a pass to Austin, who sprinted 70 yards down the field to score another touchdown for Notre Dame. At halftime, the Fighting Irish led 17-3. In the third quarter, Navy added another field goal – cutting the Irish lead to 17-6. 

In the fourth quarter, both the Fighting Irish defense and offense helped Notre Dame secure the win in blowout fashion. At the start of the quarter, Hinish earned the Irish two points with a safety. Shortly after, Kyren Williams rushed for another Notre Dame touchdown, fumbling the ball just before reaching the goal line, then successfully recovering the ball in the end zone. Coming off this high, Notre Dame decided to go for the 2-point conversion. Jack Coan found Braden Lenzy in the back corner for two more points. For yet another touchdown, freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner handed the ball off to fellow freshman Logan Diggs, who ran it into the end zone, securing a Notre Dame win against the Midshipmen, 34-6. This win helped the Irish climb one spot in the College Football Playoff rankings to No. 9. 

Per tradition, at the close of the game, the Fighting Irish joined the Midshipmen in the singing of their alma mater before trekking across the field together to sing Notre Dame’s alma mater in front of the student section.