With four players out on suspension, including a senior running back and veteran quarterback, there were a lot of questions regarding the Fighting Irish heading into this game. Coach Brian Kelly, however, had his squad prepared and focused for their opening contest against the Midshipmen of Navy.
Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III stepped-up in Cierre Wood’s absence. Together, they rushed for over 200 yards and contributed four scores. Robby Toma and Tyler Eifert each scored one touchdown, while a lumbering Stephon Tuitt provided defensive points when he ran fumble all the way back for six points. Tuitt’s 77 yard return is the longest fumble return since 1985, as well as the third-longest in school history. Quite impressive for the six foot six inch, 302 pound defensive end.
Sophomore quarterback Everett Golson had quite a day himself. His numbers on the day came in with 12 completions on 18 attempts, for 144 yards, and only one interception on an attempted pass to Tyler Eifert into double coverage. Golson showed Notre Dame nation that he should most definitely be a contender for the starting quarterback role.
The other shining star of this game is Notre Dame captain Manit Te’o. Te’o recovered one fumble along with intercepting Navy quarterback, Trey Miller’s final pass of the game.
On the Midshipmen drive following Golson’s lone interception, it looked as if Navy would get their first score when senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore stopped them dead in their tracks causing the Naval quarterback, Trey Miller, to cough up the ball. Kapron Lewis-Moore should shine this year, as a fifth year senior, providing much needed leadership for this Irish defense.
Notre Dame’s defense was just too much for the Midshipmen’s triple-option offense. Navy’s quarterback, Miller, was 14 for 19 with 192 yards, but had four fumbles and one interception. At the end of the day the Midshipmen were only able to come up with two scores, totaling 10 points.
Next week the Fighting Irish face the Boilermakers of Purdue in their home opener at Notre Dame stadium. The Boilermakers had no problem today in their opening contest against Eastern Kentucky, winning by a score of 48-6. Purdue should provide the Irish another opportunity to continue their tune up before their first real test, the following weekend in East Lansing versus Michigan State.
Cheers & GO Irish!