Football Notebook: Irish offense shows some long-sought life
Joe Meixell | Monday, November 5, 2007
Notre Dame had not scored more than 20 points in a single game this season.
The Irish eclipsed that mark in the first half with 21 points on three touchdowns and three extra points.
Struggles in OT
The loss drops Notre Dame to 2-5 in overtime games.
Its last loss came in 2005 against Michigan State, 41-44, and the last Irish overtime win was in 2003 against Washington State, 29-26.
Navy under averages
The Midshipmen have averaged 450.5 yards a game, but only managed only 338 against Notre Dame. The Irish also held Navy to 257 yards on the ground, which is almost 100 fewer than their average.
The touchdowns by freshmen Duval Kamara and Robert Hughes increased the total number of freshman scores to five. The other three have been from wide receiver Golden Tate, quarterback Jimmy Clausen and linebacker Brian Smith.
Fourth down a charm
The Irish converted six times on fourth down out of eight attempts, including the 16-yard pass from junior quarterback Evan Sharpley to senior tight end John Carlson on fourth-and-14.
Red zone struggles
Notre Dame could not stop Navy once the Midshipmen offense entered the red zone.
Navy scored five times on five attempts once it moved inside the 20.
Along with recording their season bests of 235 rushing yards and 375 total yards, the Irish also notched a season-high 27 first downs. The previous high came against Purdue with 21,
Clausen was spotted warming up on the sidelines later in the game.
“The intent in this game was to go ahead and play both quarterbacks, and it was not to play [Clausen] as a replacement, it was to substitute almost like the running back position,” Weis said. “That was the intent in the game, but there was never an ebb and flow in the game where making the switch was very practical.”
More on Hughes
Weis wanted Hughes to lead to Irish in singing the Victory March, but it was not to be.
“Because our team is a very close-knit team, I think that they feel [Robert’s] pain,” Weis said. “I think [the team] really feels bad about the outcome of this game not just for Notre Dame, not just for the team, but they feel bad for Robert.