Notre Dame vs. Navy: Score, Recap, Analysis and More

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Notre Dame vs. Navy: Score, Recap, Analysis and More
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame and Navy kicked off the 2012 college football season across the pond this fall, reigniting their rivalry in the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin, Ireland.

Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish turned a highly anticipated matchup into a one-sided affair on Saturday.

Notre Dame turned Navy over four times and more than doubled their rushing production to win going away. 

Here is everything you need to know about Saturday's rout in Ireland. 

 

Score

Notre Dame 50, Navy 10

 

Recap 

 

Notre Dame Rushing Attack Sets the Tone

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

From the opening drive of Saturday's matchup, the Fighting Irish ground attack set the tone for how the game would be decided. Notre Dame running backs Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III surpassed a combined 200 yards rushing in the blowout win.

Atkinson III scored twice, while Riddick added two touchdowns of his own, finding the end zone on Notre Dame's opening drive. Atkinson III averaged a ridiculous 11 yards per carry on only nine touches Saturday.

The Fighting Irish scored five rushing touchdowns in all on Saturday.

 

Irish Super on Third Down

It's hard to win a football game let alone compete when you can't stop the other team on third down. That was Navy's biggest problem on Saturday. 

The Midshipmen allowed the Irish to convert on their first seven third downs. Notre Dame didn't have a single punt until under 30 seconds were left in the third quarter. 

After scoring touchdowns on their first three drives, Notre Dame boasted a commanding 20-0 lead that they would make 27-0 after a fumble return touchdown late in the second quarter.

 

Analysis

 

Everett Golson Still Has a Lot to Prove

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame sophomore signal-caller Everett Golson played well on Saturday, but rarely needed to make a play for the Irish, who relied on an unstoppable running game to destroy Navy in their opener.

Golson came out of the game in the third quarter after Notre Dame took a commanding 40-10 lead. Junior quarterback Andrew Hendrix took over for Golson under center.

Golson finished the day 12-of-18 for 144 yards, a touchdown and one interception. His pick came down in the red zone, which proves that the first-year starter has much to learn before he can be counted on to carry the offense. 

 

Navy Must Improve Up Front

The Midshipmen are routinely ranked toward the top of the nation in terms of rushing offense. However, Navy's troubling start to the 2012 season suggests that they are in need of some serious improvement up front on the offensive line.

Sure, Notre Dame is a formidable defensive squad, but that hardly justifies the country's fourth-best rushing attack from a season ago only averaging 3.5 yards per carry on Saturday.

Navy ended the game with 40 rushes for just 140 yards, with only eight rushing yards coming in the second half. That's far from the 312.3 yards per game they averaged in 2011. 

 

In Case You Missed It

A restless fan added to the humor of Notre Dame's big win over Navy in the third quarter when he rushed out onto the field to perform a well-done but poorly timed Irish jig. 

It's exciting to see that the Irish fans enjoyed themselves on Saturday despite being treated to an anticlimactic result in Dublin.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more college football reaction and analysis.

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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