For forty-three years straight since 1963, Navy lost to Notre Dame. 2007 was different. The Fighting Irish and the Midshipmen gathered at the M&T Bank Stadium to answer the jackpot question of the day: Today’s jackpot question: Will Notre Dame get their groove back or will Navy see a second victory?
Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter started with Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen throwing an interception. Midshipmen cornerback Ketric Buffin caught the ball at Navy’s eighteen-yard line. No score came from it but the Navy defense gave Notre Dame more reason for pause as linebacker Corey Johnson brought Clausen down (on the Fighting Irish’s next possession) and defensive end Jabaree Tuani landed on the ball. Notre Dame would not be discouraged, though. Navy’s punt was blocked and Toryan Smith was able to run the ball into the end zone. Fighting Irish 7 and Midshipmen 0.
The second quarter was considerably uneventful until the bottom when Midshipman quarterback Jarod Bryant successfully threw to running back Cory Finnerty, who then ran twenty-two yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Notre Dame and Navy tied with seven points each. With fewer than two minutes left in the quarter, Midshipman Ketric Buffin intercepted Jimmy Clausen a second time–but Notre Dame immediately recovered the ball. Going into halftime, the Fighting Irish pushed out a twenty-eight yard field goal for a three-point lead. 10 to 7.
The third quarter progressed roughly two minutes. Navy had the ball; the quarterback was tackled before he got too far down field. His contact with the turf was captured from a high-angle medium long shot, meaning that the players’ bodies were entirely on screen but only a few of them were on screen. Number twenty-nine (I think) from Navy, slammed his hands together in frustration. I could’ve misinterpreted the sounds and sights, but I do believe that as he clapped his hands, he cried out, “phuck man.” Not too long after that moment, Notre Dame increased their lead thanks to running back Armando Allen Jr. Notre Dame did it again at the bottom of the quarter, courtesy of running back Robert Hughes. Fighting Irish 24 and Midshipmen 7.
The top of the fourth quarter put a broader smile on Notre Dame’s face in the form of a thirty-six yard field goal. 27 to 7. “Sheets of rain,” as one of the commentators put it, also started to pour down in the fourth quarter (the rain didn’t last too long, though). In the bottom of the quarter, Navy running back Shun White got the ball into the end zone. Fighting Irish 27 and Midshipmen 14. Navy wide receiver Tyree Barnes made a brilliant catch just shy of the end zone with under two minutes left to play. The review of the play ruled it down at the one-yard line rather than a touchdown. Ricky Dobbs, who took over quarterbacking duties for Navy in the bottom of the third quarter, put the ball in the end zone himself on the next play. Fighting Irish 27 and Midshipmen 21. Navy got so close to nabbing the game because they recovered the ball on their next punt-away. Unfortunately, a series of incomplete passes meant that Notre Dame took the victory 27 to 21.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. There was a montage-with-voice-over that summarized the Notre Dame-Navy rivalry before the game.
4. Nearing the end of the first quarter, before going to a commercial, the camera cut to a low-angle shot of Navy’s mascots: two goats looking very much like oatmeal. That is, their coats reminded me of oatmeal. Bill the Goat anyone? Both goats got more screentime before the start of the third quarter.
5. Upon returning from a commercial at the top of the second quarter, there was an acknowledgment of Colonel John Ripley and his contributions to the Vietnam War.
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And, UGA nipped Auburn in the bud. 17 to 13.