(Saturday, November 7th)
Final Score: Navy 23, (19) Notre Dame 21
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Ricky Dobbs and Vince Murray each reached the century mark in rushing with a touchdown and Navy upset 19th-ranked Notre Dame, 23-21, ending the Irish's bid for entry into a BCS postseason game.
Two years ago Navy (7-3) broke a 43-game skid to the Irish with an epic triple-overtime win. This latest victory marks the Midshipmen's first two- game winning streak in South Bend since 1961 and '63.
The Midshipmen took advantage of a pair of costly Jimmy Clausen turnovers, a fumble on the final play of the third quarter and an interception at the Navy five early in the fourth. Craig Schaefer sacked Clausen in the end zone for a huge safety with a minute remaining.
"I thought our defense did a great job in the red zone," said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. "They moved the ball down the field and our kids buckled down once we got down there. I'm sure they'll look at it that they had some missed opportunities in the red zone. Obviously that was a big turnover that changed the whole momentum of the game."
Murray rushed 14 times for 158 yards, while Dobbs had 31 carries for 102 yards. Dobbs also hit Greg Jones with a surprise 52-yard touchdown pass, Navy's first for a score since September 26 against Western Kentucky.
The victory secured Navy a spot in the December 31 Texas Bowl in Houston against a team from the Big 12.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis was asked after the game if the loss puts his job in jeopardy.
"It comes with the territory," he said. "The sad part about it, it's a week- to-week deal."
Clausen connected on 37-of-51 passes for 452 yards with a pair of TDs and an interception for the Fighting Irish (6-3), who were coming off wins against Boston College and Washington State. Clausen also appeared to hurt his arm after fumbling the ball away at the goal line while trying to power into the end zone on a scramble on the final play of the third quarter.
Michael Floyd had 10 receptions for 141 yards with a touchdown and Golden Tate caught nine balls for 132 yards with a score, but Notre Dame lost despite piling up 512 yards of offense.
Shortly after Clausen fumbled, leaving Notre Dame in a 21-7 hole, he led the Irish on another big drive, but was picked off by Ram Vela at the Navy five.
Clausen's 12-yard TD pass to Floyd at the right pylon had the hosts within seven points with under five minutes remaining.
The Irish were pinned at their 13 after a Navy punt and went backward. Clausen was sacked on third down by Jabaree Tuani and then taken down deep in the end zone.
Notre dame actually got the ball back following on onside kick and Tate caught a 31-yard TD pass with 24 seconds left. but Navy recovered the ensuing kickoff and ran out the clock.
It was trouble from the start for the Irish as Robby Parris fumbled after catching a pass, less than two minutes into the game.
Dobbs took the ensuing drive to the end zone, capping it with a one-yard run on fourth down.
Nick Tausch missed a 41-yard field goal on Notre Dame's next possession and it became 14-0 on Murray's 25-yard TD burst up the middle on the first play of the second quarter.
Clausen threw incomplete on fourth down at the Navy three later in the quarter and Tausch missed a 30-yard field goal try. The Midshipmen had an opportunity for a 17-0 halftime lead, but Joe Buckley pushed a 30-yard field goal try wide.
Robert Hughes scored on a one-yard run for Notre Dame with nearly five minutes left in the third, but Dobbs countered by hitting a wide open Jones in the middle of the field.
Two weeks ago, Navy didn't have a single pass attempt, but still beat Wake Forest, 13-10...The Irish hold a 71-11-1 advantage in the series....Clausen entered the game with 124 consecutive passes without an interception...Tate moved over the 1,000-yard mark in receiving for the second straight season. It's the seventh 1,000-yard season in Irish history. Tate joins Jeff Samardzija (2003-06) as the only Notre Dame wideouts to ever record multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
11/07 20:02:18 ET