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Navy football scores yet another win over Notre Dame

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By Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 23, 2010; 11:31 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Don't let the 35-17 final score fool you. Navy's victory over Notre Dame before 75,614 at New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday was much more authoritative than even that lopsided result would indicate.

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So thorough was the dismantling that junior fullback Alexander Teich, a backup at the start of the season, had 200 rushing yards with more than three minutes to play. He finished with 210 yards on 26 carries to become the first fullback in team history with more than 200 rushing yards in a game.

Throw in 90 rushing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Ricky Dobbs and a red-zone offense that went 4 for 4 for a third consecutive game, and Navy's most complete performance this season also was its most decisive win against the Fighting Irish since 1956.

The Midshipmen (5-2) rolled up 367 rushing yards, their second-most this season, and amassed 438 total yards to win for the third time in four meetings against the most storied program in college football.

That's a striking turnaround from 1964 to 2006.

Then, Navy lost 43 in a row to Notre Dame in the longest such streak in NCAA history. Now the Midshipmen have consecutive wins against the Fighting Irish for the first time since 1961.

"It was amazing, very close to perfection," said Dobbs, a co-captain and part of the first senior class since 1964 to have beaten Notre Dame three times and one of three to do so overall.

Dobbs and the offense were on the sideline, however, when Navy tilted momentum significantly. After moving 71 yards on the opening possession of the game, Notre Dame was at the 1 and elected to go for it on fourth and goal. Quarterback Dayne Crist tried a sneak, but nose guard Jared Marks and linebacker Tyler Simmons converged and stuffed the play for no gain.

Clearly stirred by that aggression, the Navy offense didn't blink despite being in the shadow of the end zone.

On first down, Dobbs carried for seven yards to give Navy some room and Teich ran for two to set up third and one. The offensive line, playing with a distinct size disadvantage, then opened a cavernous hole for Teich, who broke loose for 54 yards. The longest run of his career carried Navy to the 36, and three plays later, Teich fittingly made it 7-0 with a one-handed catch of a short throw en route to a 31-yard touchdown.

"I get excited when coach calls [for a] screen," said Teich, whose rushing total was the most against Notre Dame by a Navy player in academy history, "and they made the call, and I was thinking I can't let this ball hit the ground."

The catch was the longest of Teich's career and capped Navy's first 99-yard drive since last year's opener against Ohio State. It also was just the beginning of an inglorious afternoon for Notre Dame (4-4), which had yielded 152 rushing yards combined over its past three games, all victories.

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