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Football: Irish fall to Midshipmen

Meaghan Veselik | Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jimmy Clausen set career-highs in pass attempts (51), completions (37), and passing yards (452), Golden Tate made nine catches for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Michael Floyd returned to the field for Notre Dame, but the Irish were not able to fight off the Navy Midshipmen for a win Saturday, falling 23-21 in the 83rd meeting of the two teams.

Notre Dame started off the game with a 19 yard kick return by freshman half back Theo Riddick, but fell short of making it over the 50-yard line when senior wide receiver Robby Parris fumbled a completed pass that was recovered by Navy. From there, Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs marched the Midshipmen down the field to score and lead the Irish 7-0 in 12 plays for 51 yards.

From there, the Irish were unable to make it on the board the rest of the half. Tausch attempted a field goal from the Navy 24 and missed, kicking it to the wide left and leaving Notre Dame still behind 7-0. The Midshipmen began the second quarter with another touchdown from junior fullback Vince Murray’s 25-yard run to make it 14-0. Notre Dame once again tried to score but were unable to produce a touchdown or field goal and closed the half at 14-0.

The Irish finally made it on the board with 5:03 left in the third quarter after junior halfback Robert Hughes made it over the goal line for a touchdown. However, Navy responded with one of their own when Dobbs threw a 52-yard pass to junior wide-receiver Greg Jones to increase their lead to 21-7.

The fourth quarter was when the Irish finally started to rack up the points and play like the team they have been in the last few games of this season. Michael Floyd made his scoring debut for the day with 4:46 left in the game as he caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Clausen to make it 21-14. Their success was cut short, however, when Navy turned around and scored a safety on the Irish with a minute left in the game. As in the Irish style this season, Notre Dame worked on making a comeback with less than a minute left. After a 3-play, 66-yard drive, Clausen found Tate for a 31-yard touchdown pass to put the Irish at 23-21 with :24 seconds left in the game.