Navy's senior class of 2011 is trying to join the Class of 1964 and the Class of 1937 as the only ones in USNA history to beat Notre Dame in football three times. So far, the Middies are doing a shockingly good job of putting themselves in position for the upset.
They have dominated on offense with scoring drives of 99, 77 and 30 yards, and the defense has done a very creditable job, including an interception by De'Von Richardson at the Irish 30 that set up the last TD on a 9-yard run by Gee Gee Greene for a 21-10 halftime lead.
Navy's first touchdown is destined to be replayed again and again on the highlight shows. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs threw high for a wide-open fullback Alexander Teich on a left screen. Teich leaped to pull it in with one hand, kept his balance on the way to the end zone and then went airborne before taking a hit at the goal-line and doing a whirly-bird at the end of the 31-yard play. The second TD was a little more prosaic, a simple 4-yard run up the middle by Dobbs.
Notre Dame is playing without its top three receivers, wideouts Michael Floyd and Theo Riddick and tight end Kyle Rudolph, and it has hampered the Irish on offense. Their lone TD came on a 16-yard strike from Dayne Crist to T.J. Jones. But that doesn't explain Notre Dame's defensive breakdowns.
During the Irish's three-game winning streak, they allowed an average of 16.7 points to the likes of Boston College, Pitt and Western Michigan. But in the three losses that preceded that stretch, the Irish gave up an average of 33.0 points to Michigan, Michigan State and Stanford. That would put Navy in impressive company if they hold on to win for the third time in four seasons after ending a 43-year drought without beating Notre Dame.
In photo above, that's Greene against Wake Forest.