The U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2011 delivered an early graduation gift to the brigade of Midshipmen today at New Meadowlands Stadium -- a third victory over Notre Dame in a four-year period. Only the Class of 1964 and the Class of 1937 before them accomplished that feat.
Navy's 35-17 victory was only the 12th win ever and the fourth by a double-digits winning margin for the Middies (5-2) in the 84-game series with the Irish (4-4), and it came in front of a crowd of 75,614. After rushing to a 21-10 first-half lead, the Middies put the hammer down when they took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards to score on a 9-yard run by quarterback Ricky Dobbs for a 28-10 lead.
Irish quarterback Dayne Crist moved his team downfield into scoring position, but he threw his second interception of the game to Navy's Kwesi Mitchell at the 27. The Middies then covered the 73-yard distance in 10 plays thanks to several big runs by fullback Alexander Teich before Dobbs scored on a 1-yard dive for a 35-10 advantage.
Midway through the final quarter, Notre Dame put together a 76-yard scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Cierre Wood to make it more respectable, but the Irish were thoroughly dominated on this day. Teich finished with 26 carries for 210 yards rushing plus one reception for a spectacular 31-yard touchdown.