12:00 PM ET, October 28, 2006
M&T Bank Stadium, BALTIMORE, MD
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Brady Quinn enjoyed an afternoon that would have satisfied almost every quarterback in the nation, especially one with a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy.
Quinn accounted for four touchdowns and No. 11 Notre Dame amassed a season-high 471 yards Saturday in a 38-14 victory over Navy, the Fighting Irish's 43rd consecutive win in the series.
With Quinn leading the way, the Irish (7-1) scored on their first five possessions to take a 31-14 lead. The Irish were then stuffed at the Navy 1 before Quinn completed his marvelous performance with his third touchdown pass.
Six scores in seven possessions is impressive work, but Quinn lamented Notre Dame's lone unproductive drive.
"One of the things our offense wanted to work on this week was being more consistent throughout the entire game," he said. "I think you saw that with the exception of that one drive when we didn't get it in at the goal line."
What could possibly be better than scoring 31 points on the opening five drives?
"Six out of six and making them all touchdowns," Quinn said. "That's our goal every time, especially when we're in the red zone."
Quinn finished 18-for-25 for 295 yards, and he also ran 19 yards for a score. Darius Walker ran for 103 yards on 20 carries and Rhema McKnight had two touchdown catches to help the Irish win their fifth straight.
Although Quinn found fault with the offense, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was delighted with the way the Irish played after last week's 21-17 comeback win over UCLA.
"The first five times we got the ball on offense, we scored. That's always a good thing," Weis said. "To be honest with you, that was our intent coming into the game. We felt that on offense we haven't been running the ball, we haven't been playing consistent. What we had to do is have one of those games when we got the ball and scored early and often. Fortunately, that's how it panned out."
For a while, Navy kept pace with the Irish. Notre Dame led 17-14 in the second quarter and yielded 211 yards rushing before halftime.
"The way their offense runs, they're tough to stop," Quinn said. "We knew we had to put more points on the board because they have a potent offense and they're able to meticulously drive down the field and get scores."
Navy quarterback Kalpo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada scored two touchdowns in his first college start and Reggie Campbell ran for 81 yards, but the Midshipmen couldn't mount enough offense to beat Notre Dame for the first time since Roger Staubach pioneered a 35-14 win in 1963.
Notre Dame's winning streak against Navy (5-3) is the longest against one opponent in NCAA history.
"I told our guys at halftime I thought we had a chance, but you're not going to beat them if you can't stop them once," Navy coach Paul Johnson said.
By the time the Midshipmen got that one stop, it was 31-14. And Quinn made amends for that shortcoming on the next series, throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to McKnight for a 24-point cushion with 9:36 left.
"He is bigger than anybody we have on defense. He's a specimen," Johnson said of Quinn. "He throws ball well and when he gets the time like today..."
Notre Dame led 17-14 in the second quarter before Quinn threw a 33-yard TD pass to McKnight.
After Navy ended its first possession of the second half with a punt, Quinn capped a 60-yard drive with a 19-yard run -- his longest since 2004 -- to make it 31-14. The drive was extended by a personal foul call against the Midshipmen after Notre Dame came up short on a third-and-19 play.
"Seems like every mistake we made, they took advantage of it," Navy linebacker Tyler Tidwell said.
Navy completed only four passes and managed only 60 yards rushing after halftime.
"They didn't do much wrong in the first half," Weis said. "In the second half, we got the best of them."
Navy kept it close before halftime, even though the Irish averaged 9.9 yards on 29 plays.
Walker ran for 18 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage, and Notre Dame went up 3-0 on a 40-yard field goal by Carl Gioia. Quinn's first pass was a 12-yarder to John Carlson, giving the senior quarterback a school-record 44 straight games with a completion.
Notre Dame made it 10-0 with a 36-yard pass from Quinn to David Grimes, who made a diving catch in the left side of the end zone on third-and-18.
Navy countered with a a 1-yard touchdown run by Kaheaku-Enhada, but the Irish needed only seven plays to make it 17-7. Travis Thomas scored on a 16-yard run to cap the drive.
Navy mounted a 13-play drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Kaheaku-Enhada, but the Midshipmen would get no closer.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Brady Quinn hit Rhema McKnight for a 33-yard TD pass late in the second quarter to put the Irish up 10.
Gameball goes to... Brady Quinn. Quinn kept his Heisman hopes alive, completing 18-of-25 passes for 293 yards and 3 TDs. Quinn also ran for a 19-yard score.
Stat of the game... 43. There's a solid chance this will be the stat of the game every year until Navy ends its 43-game losing streak to the Irish.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-11||5-12|
|4th Down Conversions||3-5||0-1|
|FG||11:45||CARL GIOIA 40 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||1:32||DAVID GRIMES 36 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (CARL GIOIA KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||11:39||KAIPO-NOA KAHEAKU-ENHADA 1 YD RUN (MATTHEW HARMON KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:00||TRAVIS THOMAS 16 YD RUN (CARL GIOIA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||2:43||KAIPO-NOA KAHEAKU-ENHADA 1 YD RUN (MATTHEW HARMON KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 65 yards.
|TD||1:19||RHEMA MCKNIGHT 33 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (CARL GIOIA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:10||BRADY QUINN 19 YD RUN (CARL GIOIA KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||9:36||RHEMA MCKNIGHT 6 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (CARL GIOIA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 47 yards.