Notre Dame stretches its winning streak over Navy to 39 games, extending the NCAA record for the most consecutive wins over one opponent in college football history.
The Irish win their 21st consecutive neutral-site game against Navy, dating back to a 1962 victory over the Midshipmen at Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium. Notre Dame now is 42-6-1 (.867) at neutral sites in Navy series history, including a 16-4 (.800) mark against the Mids in Baltimore.
Navy and Notre Dame are meeting for the 76th time this season, the longest series in Notre Dame football history. This year’s Notre Dame-Purdue game was the 74th in that series (tied for second-longest in school history) while the Irish and USC also will meet for the 74th time later this season.
Notre Dame leads the Navy series, 66-9-1 (.873), in the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country. The Irish and Midshipmen have met every year since 1927, with the series scheduled to continue indefinitely.
The Irish have scored 30 or more points in 14 of the last 17 meetings with Navy. Dating back to the 1985 contest, Notre Dame has averaged 40.2 points per game in the series, including five 50-point eruptions and back-to-back 58-point outbursts in 1993 and ’94. And, the Irish have scored more points against the Midshipmen (2,014) than any of the other 132 opponents in school history. Notre Dame topped the 2,000-point mark on an eight-yard touchdown run by Terrance Howard in the third quarter of last season’s 34-16 Irish victory.
Navy’s last win came in ’63, when Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach helped Navy claim a 35-14 victory at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame’s 38 straight wins rank as the longest winning streak by one team over another in NCAA history (previous record: Oklahoma’s 32 in a row over Kansas State from 1937-68).
In the most recent neutral-site meeting in the series (a 45-14 Irish win in 2000 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando), Notre Dame FS Tony Driver became just the second player in NCAA history to return two fumbles for touchdowns in the same game.
After the series returns to Notre Dame Stadium next season, the Irish and Midshipmen will play at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2004.
The Navy game marks the second time this season that Notre Dame has played at an NFL stadium. The Irish previously defeated Maryland, 22-0, in Kickoff Classic XX at Giants Stadium. The last time Notre Dame played two regular-season games at NFL arenas was 1998, when the Irish beat Arizona State (28-9) and Navy (30-0), with the latter game played at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Raljon, Md.