Navy Falls to No. 11 Notre Dame, 38-14
Oct. 28, 2006
BALTIMORE (AP) - Brady Quinn accounted for four touchdowns and No. 11 Notre Dame amassed a season-high 471 yards Saturday in a 38-14 victory over Navy, the Fighting Irish's 43rd consecutive win in the series.
Quinn threw touchdown passes of 36, 33 and 6 yards, and ran 19 yards for a score. With Quinn leading the way, the Irish (7-1) scored on their first five possessions to take a 31-14 lead.
Notre Dame's first unproductive drive ended in the fourth quarter at the Navy 1, and the Irish never punted.
Quinn finished 18-for-25 for 295 yards, Darius Walker ran for 103 yards on 20 carries and Rhema McKnight had two touchdown catches to help the Irish win their fifth straight. Notre Dame's winning streak against Navy (5-3) is the longest against one opponent in NCAA history.
Navy quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada scored two touchdowns in his first college start and Reggie Campbell ran for 81 yards, but the Midshipmen couldn't mount enough offense to beat Notre Dame for the first time since Roger Staubach pioneered a 35-14 win in 1963.
Navy rushed for 271 yards, but 211 of those came in the first half.
Notre Dame led 17-14 in the second quarter before Quinn went 4-for-5 for 64 yards in a drive that ended with a 33-yard TD catch by McKnight.
"I told our guys at halftime I thought we had a chance, but you're not going to beat them if you can't stop them once," Navy coach Paul Johnson said.
After Navy ended its first possession of the second half with a punt, Quinn capped a 60-yard drive with a 19-yard run - his longest since 2004 - to make it 31-14. The drive was extended by a personal foul call against the Midshipmen after Notre Dame came up short on a third-and-19 play.
"Seems like every mistake we made, they took advantage of it," Navy linebacker Tyler Tidwell said.
Navy kept it close in the first half, even though the Irish averaged 9.9 yards on 29 plays.
Walker ran for 18 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage, and Notre Dame went up 3-0 on a 40-yard field goal by Carl Gioia. Quinn's first pass was a 12-yarder to John Carlson, giving the senior quarterback a school-record 44 straight games with a completion.
"He is bigger than anybody we have on defense. He's a specimen," Johnson said of Quinn. "He throws ball well and when he gets the time like today..."
Navy responded with a 13-play march, but the Midshipmen came away empty when Matt Harmon missed a 32-yard field goal try.
Notre Dame made it 10-0 with a 36-yard pass from Quinn to David Grimes, who made a diving catch in the left side of the end zone on a third-and-18 play.
Minutes later, a huge gamble by the Midshipmen paid off. With Navy facing a fourth-and-1 at its own 29, coach Paul Johnson decided to go for it. Notre Dame lineman Derek Landri jumped offside, and that led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Kaheaku-Enhada.
Undaunted, the Irish needed only seven plays to make it 17-7. Quinn went 2-for-2 for 31 yards and Walker accounted for 29 yards rushing before Travis Thomas scored on a 16-yard run.
Navy answered again, mounting a 13-play drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Kaheaku-Enhada, but the Midshipmen would get no closer.