Sept. 1, 2012

Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery


  • Gives Notre Dame a victory in their season opener for the sixth time in eight years.
  • Makes the Irish 103-16-5 (.851) all-time in season openers and 31-5-2 (.842) in season openers away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Would be the 21st victory in the last 26 season openers.
  • Improves Notre Dame to 129-56-4 (.693) all-time in the month of September, including 50-33-2 (.600) away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improves Notre Dame to 73-12-1 (.855) in the all-time series with Navy.
  • Gives the Irish victories in 46 of the last 49 meetings with the Midshipmen.
  • Improves the Irish to 46-7-1 (.861) in the all-time series with the Midshipmen away Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Gives Notre Dame victories in 24 of the last 25 meetings with Navy away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improves the Irish to 59-6 (.908) all-time against unranked Navy (post 1936).
  • Improves Notre Dame to 35-3 (.921) all-time against the unranked Midshipmen (post 1936) away Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improves the Irish when ranked in the top 25 to 48-4-1 (.915) all-time against Navy (post 1936).
  • Improves the Irish when ranked in the top 25 to 42-2-0 (.955) all-time against unranked Navy (post 1936).
  • Improves Notre Dame’s all-time record to 854-300-42 (.732).
  • Improves the all-time record for the Irish away from Notre Dame Stadium to 393-182-29 (.675).
  • Improves the all-time record for the Irish on neutral fields to 113-38-6 (.732).
  • Improves the Irish to 134-26-5 (.827) all-time against the Service Academies, including 88-16-5 (.830) away from Notre Dame Stadium and 69-12-4 (.835) on a neutral field.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 188-67-2 (.735) overall.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 69-32 (.683) in FBS games.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 60-20 (.750) since 2006.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 111-34 (.766) since 2001.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 2-1 (.667) all-time against Navy, including 1-1 (.500) away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 4-1 (.800) all-time against the Service Academies, including 2-1 (.500) away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improves Kelly’s record to 55-28 (.663) all-time in the month of September.


  • Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to receive. Navy defended the North endzone.



  • Notre Dame played 47 different players in the first quarter, including 14 that saw their first career action in an Irish uniform.
  • The Irish ultimately played a total of 21 first time player Saturday.
  • DaVaris Daniels and Troy Niklas each collected their first career receptions.
  • Manti Te’o collected his first career interception and first career fumble recovery.
  • Danny McCarthy recorded his first fumble recovery and Ishaq Williams registered his first forced fumble.
  • Justin Ferguson picked up his first career reception in the fourth quarter.
  • Robby Toma collected his first career rushing touchdown.


  • Notre Dame took the opening kick and marched 75 yards for a touchdown. The Irish had not taken the opening kick and scored a touchdown in a season opener since 2009 against Nevada. Notre Dame added touchdowns on its next two offensive possessions of the game as well.
  • The Irish scored on their first three possessions against the WolfPack in `09.


  • The Irish are 103-16-5 (.851) in season openers and have won 21 of their last 26.
  • Notre Dame has captured its last 14 season openers when scoring first, a span that dates back to the 1986 defeat to Michigan.
  • Since 1958, the Irish are 33-3 (.917) when scoring first in season openers.
  • Notre Dame equaled the 50-point barrier in a season opener for the first time since 1983 when the Irish bested Purdue 52-6.


  • Neutral Site Games: 6-1
  • On Television: 33-8
  • On CBS: 4-1
  • Afternoon Games: 92-13-5
  • Scoring 40+ Points: 33-0
  • Allowing 0-19 Points: 95-7-5
  • Scoring First (since 1958): 33-3
  • *Neither team is ranked: 22-2-1
  • * post 1936 when the AP instituted national rankings


  • Notre Dame is 129-56-4 (.693) all-time during the month.
  • The Irish are 50-33-2 (.600) in September games away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Notre Dame is 5-2-0 (.714) in September neutral games.
  • Notre Dame has won three straight games in the month of September, which comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak in the month.


  • Notre Dame was torched for 367 yards on 60 carries in the 2010 loss against Navy, but has now limited the Midshipmen to a total of 335 yards on the ground in the last two meetings combined (including 149 yards on 40 carries this afternoon).
  • The 149 yards rushing for Navy was its lowest output in a single game since Dec. 11, 2010.


  • Notre Dame sophomore Everett Golson made his first career start on Sept. 1 against Navy. He was the 21st signal caller to make his Irish starting debut since 1985. Notre Dame has gone 15-6 in those 21 games with a first-time starting quarterback under center.
  • Golson became the first Irish signal caller to make his career and starting debut in a season opener away from Notre Dame Stadium since Ron Powlus in 1994. All Powlus did in his debut was throw for 291 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-12 rout of Northwestern.
  • Golson hooked up with Tyler Eifert on a five-yard touchdown pass with 11:20 left in the second quarter to give the Irish a 20-0 lead.
  • Golson extended Notre Dame’s winning streak to three games under first-time starting quarterbacks.
  • Dayne Crist snapped that five-game skid with a victorious debut against Purdue on Sept. 4, 2010. Junior Tommy Rees made it two straight wins for the Irish with a first-time starter under center. Rees helped Notre Dame upend No. 15 Utah, 28-3, on Nov. 13, 2010.


  • Each of the last six times a Brian Kelly coached team has opened a game with a first-time starting quarterback, Kelly’s team has proved victorious.
  • Kelly has accomplished the feat three times at Notre Dame with Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees and Everett Golson.
  • Kelly was successful with each of his three first-time starters at Cincinnati (Zach Collaros, Tony Pike, Chazz Anderson).


  • In eight of the past 17 meetings between the Irish and Midshipmen, one of the two teams has scored at least one touchdown on defense or special teams.
  • Year Defense/Special Teams Score Player, School
  • 2012 TD Fumble Return Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
  • 2008 TD Punt Block Toryan Smith, Notre Dame
  • 2007 TD Fumble Return Chris Kuhar-Pitters, Navy
  • 2002 TD Kickoff Return Vontez Duff, Notre Dame
  • 2001 TD Fumble Return Gerome Sapp, Notre Dame
  • 2000 TD Fumble Return Tony Driver, Notre Dame
  • 2000 TD Fumble Return Tony Driver, Notre Dame
  • 1999 TD Interception Return Davede Alexander, Navy
  • 1999 TD Punt Block Chris Oliver, Navy
  • 1996 TD Fumble Return Renaldo Wynn, Notre Dame


  • Freshman CB KeiVarae Russell was the first freshman ever at Notre Dame to start at cornerback in the opening game, which will leave quarterback as the only position group that never has had a freshman start the opener.
  • The previous closest freshman to start near a season opener was Stacey Toran in 1980 when he started the third game and the remaining nine for the Sugar Bowl team.
  • Russell was the first Irish rookie to start at cornerback since Robert Blanton on Nov. 15, 2008 – ironically against Navy. Darrin Walls also started as a rookie in 2006. Both Blanton and Walls are now in the NFL – Blanton with the Minnesota Vikings and Walls with the Atlanta Falcons. Walls even played in the `06 opener at Georgia Tech and went up against now Detroit Lions’ superstar Calvin Johnson, holding his own.
  • Freshmen Luther Bradley (1973), Todd Lyght (1987), Tom Carter (1990) and Bobby Taylor (1992) all were starters as freshmen (Bradley in every game), but it was at safety. Bradley, Lyght, Carter and Taylor later became All-America corners, with the first three first-round picks and Taylor a second-round selection after his junior year in 1994.
  • Another freshman starter at corner was Ivory Covington in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl against 10-1 Colorado.


  • Notre Dame ran for 257 yards today. The Irish have won nine consecutive games when it rushes for at least 200 yards. The Irish have not lost a game with more than 200 yards on the ground since Nov. 3, 2007 against Navy.
  • Notre Dame is 21-1 over the last 10 years (since the start of the 2002 season) when it gains 200 or more yards rushing.


  • Notre Dame rushed for 293 yards in today’s victory. The Irish have not rushed for more in a game since Nov. 29, 2003 at Stanford (320).
  • George Atkinson III collected his first career multi-rushing touchdown game of his career.
  • Theo Riddick registered his first career 100-yard rushing game and first career multi-rushing touchdown game.
  • Riddick (107 yards on 19 carries) and Atkinson (99 yards on nine carries) nearly became the first Irish tandem to each run for 100 yards in the same game since 2002 (when Rashon Powers-Neal and Ryan Grant) each eclipsed the century mark.
  • Atkinson and Riddick’s multi-rushing TD games gave Notre Dame multiple players with at least two TD runs against Navy for the second consecutive meeting. Jonas Gray and senior RB Cierre Wood each rushed for a pair of touchdowns against Navy in 2011.
  • Prior to last season’s meeting with Navy, and then again today, Notre Dame had not had two running backs register multiple rushing TDs in the same game since Oct. 11, 2001 against West Virginia when Julius Jones and Tony Fisher each had a pair.
  • Notre Dame has recorded 12 rushing touchdowns in the last two meetings with Navy.
  • Notre Dame finished the game against Navy with seven rushing touchdowns in 2011 – the most for the Irish since Sept. 26, 1992 against Purdue (also had seven rushing touchdowns). Notre Dame has not had more rushing touchdowns in a game since Nov. 6, 1965 when the Irish had nine rushing touchdowns in a 69-13 rout of Pittsburgh.
  • Riddick and Atkinson III each collected first quarter rushing touchdowns this afternoon.
  • Riddick scored from 11 yards out to give Notre Dame a 6-0 advantage early in the first quarter.
  • Atkinson III sprinted 56 yards to give the Irish a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter. The 56-yard run was the longest of his career and longest by an Irish running back since Jonas Gray raced 79 yards at Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, 2010.
  • Notre Dame rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries in the opening quarter, which averaged out to 9.7 yards per carry.
  • Atkinson III and Riddick each added third quarter rushing touchdowns that helped the Irish extend their lead to 40-10.
  • Robby Toma added his first career rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.


  • Notre Dame has won nearly 83 percent of its games (134-26-5) against the service academies (Army, Navy and Air Force).
  • The Irish have won 21 of their last 25 games against the service academies, and they are 40-5 (.889) against these schools since 1986. The only defeats in that time were a 20-17 overtime setback against Air Force in 1996 at Notre Dame Stadium, the 2007 meetings with both Navy (46-44, 3ot) and Air Force (41-24) and the 2009 and 2010 games with the Midshipmen.
  • More than half (86) of Notre Dame’s 165 games against service academies, and more than half of its victories (73) have come against Navy as part of the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country.


  • Notre Dame now holds a 73-12-1 (.855) edge in the series. The Irish have won 46 of the last 49 meetings in the series. Notre Dame and Navy have met every year since 1927, playing 54 times at neutral sites and 32 times at Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Navy and Notre Dame is the longest series in Irish football history (86 meetings). Notre Dame has faced USC 84 times and Purdue 83 times.
  • The Irish have scored 30 or more points in 21 of the past 28 meetings with Navy. Dating back to the 1985 contest, u Notre Dame has averaged nearly 39 points per game in the series, including seven 50-point eruptions (including each of the last two meetings) and back-to-back 58-point outbursts in 1993 and 1994. And, the Irish have scored more points against the Midshipmen (2,393) than any of the other 141 opponents in school history.


  • Notre Dame has won 34 of its last 36 games when recording more rushing yards than their opponent.


  • Stephon Tuitt scooped up a fumble and rumbled 77 yards for a touchdown with 2:12 left in the second quarter to give the Irish a 27-0 lead.
  • The TD fumble return was the third longest in school history and longest since Steve Lawrence had a 79-yard return in 1985.
  • Frank Shaughnessy holds, and will hold barring NCAA rules changes, the school record with a 107-yard return against Kansas in 1904.

Tyler Eifert’s HOUSE OF PAIN

  • Tyler Eifert hauled in a five-yard touchown pass from Everett Golson with 11:20 left in the second quarter to give the Irish a 20-0 lead. The TD catch was the eighth of his career.
  • Eifert moved into sole possession of third place on the Notre Dame tight end career receptions list. He surpassed Kyle Rudolph (90, 2008-10) and Anthony Fasano (92, 2003-05).


  • Troy Niklas hauled in a 29-yard reception early in the third quarter to help setup another Notre Dame touchdown. The reception was the first of his career.
  • Niklas also made his first career start on offense after starting one game as a freshman linebacker in 2011.