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Notre Dame vs Navy

 On Saturday, November 1st, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame traveled to Landover, Maryland to face off against the Navy Midshipmen.

The Fighting Irish, coming off of a bye week, came into this game looking to bounce back from their tough loss at Florida State.

Notre Dame and Navy have played each other annually since 1927 with this game being their 88th meeting. 

This game would prove to be a test for the injury-plagued defense of the Irish as the Midshipmen came into this game with the third ranked rushing offense in the nation.

Notre Dame would have the ball first to start the game and would get off to a very quick start. On just the second play of their drive, Everett Golson threw a 78 yard pass to C.J. Prosise for the first score of the game, making the score 7-0 Irish.

Navy would come right back with a long drive, introducing Notre Dame to the triple-option that the Midshipmen are infamous for.  After 10 consecutive running plays that drove Navy all the way down to the Notre Dame 26 yard line, the Midshipmen unleashed their first passing play of the game for a touchdown, tying the game up at 7-7.

On the next Notre Dame drive, the Irish paced themselves a little more, going 65 yards on 8 plays. This drive was capped off by a 2 yard pass to Ben Koyack for a touchdown. The Irish now had a 14-7 lead.

After a good drive that ended the first quarter, Notre Dame started the second quarter on the Navy 5 yard line with 1st and Goal. Everett Golson took the ball himself on a 5 yard run in for the score, giving Notre Dame a 21-14 lead.

After a strong defensive showing by the Irish, ND had the ball again, this time at their own 16 yard line. It would take 8 plays for the Irish to drive 84 yards. A 4 yard pass from Golson to William Fuller gave Notre Dame yet another touchdown, increasing the Irish lead to 28-7.

Navy then showed that they had no quit in them, as they went back to their running game. The Midshipmen put nine running plays together to drive 78 yards. An 18 yard touchdown run by Demond Brown closed the Irish lead down to 28-14.

The next Notre Dame drive would bring the first turnover of the game. After driving 38 yards, Everett Golson dropped back to pass but he was intercepted by Navy's George Jamison, returning the ball to the Navy 28 yard line.

ND's defense stood strong again, allowing only a field goal attempt from the Midshipmen. Navy's Austin Grebe split the uprights from 44 yards out as time expired, making the halftime score 28-17 Notre Dame.

Navy would get first possession to start the second half and went right back to the run with the next drive. The Midshipmen went 75 yards in 15 plays, 13 of which were running plays. It was a 13 yard run by Geoffrey Whiteside that would give Navy their next touchdown, making the score 28-24 ND.

Navy's defense came up big on the next ND drive, forcing the Irish to punt. On the next Navy drive, the Midshipmen were faced with 4th and 2, but instead of punting, they decided to go for it and gained 54 yards on a Noah Copeland run. That run set up Navy with a 1st and Goal on the ND 4 yard line. Chris Swain would be the Midshipman to run it in on the next play, giving Navy their first lead of the game at 31-28.

After giving up 24 unanswered points, the Irish finally came big with a score of their own. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Everett Golson ran it in from 3 yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the game. The Irish took the lead back with that play, 35-31 ND.

Navy's offense decided to try some passing plays with their next possession but the Irish defense were all over it, forcing Navy to punt. After a huge pass and a helpful penalty, the Irish found themselves at the Navy 25 yard line. Tarean Folston would be the ball carrier this time, running the score in from 25 yards out and extending the Irish lead to 42-31.

On their next drive, Navy would find themselves faced with another 4th and 2 and decided to go for it again. This time, the Fighting Irish defense stood strong, giving their offense the ball back at the Navy 32 yard line.

Navy's defense then put Notre Dame in a stalemate as well, forcing them to a field goal attempt from 46 yards out. The usually reliable Kyle Brindza attempted the 46 yard kick but missed, giving the Midshipmen the ball right back and leaving the score at 42-31.

The Notre Dame defense came up big again on the next Navy drive, reeling in their first interception of the game. Justin Utupo picked the pass off and returned it to the Navy 29 yard line with less than nine minutes left in the game.

On this drive, Notre Dame kicker Kyle Brindza found himself with a chance for redemption. After the Irish offense was stalled at the Navy 27 yard line, Brindza was called in for a 44 yard field goal attempt. This kick was blocked by Navy's Bernard Sarra, making Brindza 0-2 for the night.

Now, with time running out in the game, Navy knew they had to do something quickly. It took the Midshipmen only 5 plays to drive 73 yards, giving them a touchdown on a 12 yard pass to Chris Swain. The two-point conversion attempt was good on a pass to Geoffrey Whiteside, making the score 42-39 Notre Dame with less than six minutes left in the game.

The Fighting Irish was not done, though, driving  48 yards in 5 plays with their following possession. Everett Golson showed off his talent with his feet again, running in his third rushing touchdown of the game from 8 yards out and increasing the Fighting Irish lead to 49-39.

And 49-39 would be the final score in a game where Everett Golson had six touchdowns (three rushing and three passing). 

 Notre Dame will now prepare to face off against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, November 8th on ABC.
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