|Navy tries to start a streak against Notre Dame|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 14 November 2008 11:26|
Navy ended its record-setting 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame last season with a thrilling 46-43 victory in triple-overtime last season.
Now the question is: Can Navy do it again?
``Why not? Let's start a streak for us,'' Navy fullback Eric Kettani said.
Navy has not defeated Notre Dame two years in a row since 1960-61 when Wayne Hardin was coach. The Midshipmen went 5-3 against the Fighting Irish from 1956 through 1963.
Notre Dame dominated college football's longest continuous intersectional rivalry for the next four decades most often by lopsided scores, though six times the difference was a touchdown or less.
in stopping Notre Dame tailback Travis Thomas on a 2-point conversion attempt that would've forced a fourth OT.
In a spontaneous display of joy, the Navy players and coaches stormed the field at Notre Dame Stadium in wild celebration before a stunned crowd of 80,795 fans.
``Just standing on the sidelines and watching all their guys rushing the field celebrating. It's a pretty low point in my career as a player,'' Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy said. ``But then again, you have to respect them and the performance they put on that game and the type of character they have on their team.
For Notre Dame, it was another embarrassing moment in a dreary season. The Fighting Irish finished 3-9.
Notre Dame (5-4) is improved this season and needs one more win to become bowl eligible - but all is not swell in South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish have lost three of four and fan discontent with coach Charlie Weis is rising.
Navy has no sympathy, of course.
``Different year, same old Notre Dame. They always have the same type of team big, strong, fast,'' Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said. ``They're better than they were last year. They're more experienced. They're going to want revenge on us.''
ensive coordinator Mike Haywood missed several practices this week to attend a funeral.
``To pitch a goose egg is unacceptable,'' Weis said. ``When there's a problem, and it's in an area where you can be part of the solution, I believe you help go fix it.''
Jimmy Clausen and the Notre Dame offense started strong this season, piling up 430 total yards or more in four straight games for the first time since the Lou Holtz era. Clausen has fallen off since, dropping from 36th to 52nd nationally in passing efficiency.
Clausen threw four interceptions against Boston College. Navy's pass defense, ranked 104th nationally, could be the perfect tonic of the Irish.
T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. However, Niumatalolo said sophomore Ricky Dobbs could see some action. Dobbs came off the bench to rush for 224 yards against SMU and to direct a 20-point, fourth quarter comeback versus Temple.
``We will not hesitate to put Ricky in,'' Niumatalolo said. ``Obviously if we're doing very good offensively with Jarod, we wouldn't want to do anything to break up our chemistry, but we might need to put (Ricky) in there to give us a spark. After what he's done the past two weeks, we're definitely not afraid to put him in.''
Navy is second nationally in rushing at 308 yards per game.
n in place of the injured Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (hamstring), has steadily improved at running the triple-option attack and distributing the ball. Slot back Shun White leads the Midshipmen in rushing with 834 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Kettani has contributed 673 yards.
``One of the bases for this offense is to have a bruising fullback and Kettani certainly fits that bill,'' Weis said. ``He's a veteran player that runs hard and is very physical.''