(Saturday, November 15th)
Final Score: Notre Dame 27, Navy 21
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - James Aldridge ran for 80 yards and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish staved off a late rally to secure a 27-21 win over the Navy Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium.
With head coach Charlie Weis calling plays for the first time this season, Notre Dame (6-4) racked up 230 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Irish (6-4) entered the game with the nation's 95th-ranked rushing offense. Jimmy Clausen completed 15-of-18 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions as the Irish beat Navy for the 44th time in the last 45 meetings.
The Midshipmen's (6-4) triple-option offense was held to 178 yards, though they did score three rushing touchdowns. Eric Kettani led the team with 42 yards on 11 carries.
Notre Dame grabbed a 7-0 lead on a 14-yard blocked punt return by Toryan Smith at the 6:03 mark of the first quarter.
Navy tied the score at seven with 2:39 remaining in the second quarter, on a 22-yard touchdown run by Cory Finnerty.
But the Irish put together a late drive just before the half, with Brandon Walker kicking a 28-yard field goal as time expired.
The Irish extended their lead to 17-7 at the 9:31 mark of the third quarter, when Armando Allen capped a 54-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Notre Dame tacked on another touchdown later in the third quarter, on a seven- yard run by Robert Hughes.
Walker's 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter made it 27-7, a seemingly insurmountable deficit with 11:17 to play and heavy rains soaking the field.
But Navy's Shun White broke free for a 24-yard scoring run with 1:39 remaining, and the Midshipmen recovered the onside kick.
Seconds later, Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs completed a 40-yard pass to Tyree Barnes, which set up Dobbs' one-yard touchdown run two plays later.
Then, the unthinkable happened, as Navy recovered yet another onside kick and took over for a potential game-winning drive. On that drive, White wasn't able to haul in a perfectly thrown corner route deep in Irish territory. Dobbs was then sacked, and the drive eventually stalled.
Navy's offense was out of sync for all but the final minutes, as the Mids converted just 1-of-13 third downs.
11/15 18:54:41 ET