News and Notes

*Another game, another fantastic effort from Brady Quinn. The junior's stat line was 22-of-31 for 284 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, his first pick in 130 attempts in Notre Dame's 42-21 win over Navy. Quinn broke another three school records and will hold nearly every single passing record by the time he leaves next year.

However, despite the good numbers, Quinn wasn't pleased with his effort. The interception came in the fourth quarter with Notre Dame driving. Quinn overthrew a crossing Jeff Samardzija and the Midshipmen picked off the ball. Quinn sounded a bit like his head coach Charlie Weis, always the perfectionist, when he critiqued his performance on Saturday.

"Offensively, I should have done better whether it be mental things or physical things," Quinn said. "There are still a lot of things to improve on and honestly I'm unhappy with the way I performed. Obviously, I threw the interception. Anytime something like that happens, you have to be pretty disappointed in yourself."

*After the game, the Navy players went over to the south end zone where their band was going to play the Midshipmen alma mater song. Usually they are alone in saluting the cherished song. But they had some extra attendees saluting not only the song but what Navy stands for.

Weis talked with Midshipmen head coach Paul Johnson before the game if his Irish team could join Navy in standing side by side when they played the alma mater song. Johnson agreed and that's what took place after the game in a sign of true respect and sportsmanship. Weis talked all week and after the game about the respect he had for the Naval Academy players. The Notre Dame team is right in line with their head coach.

"If they ever need a place to stay, I'll be the first one that will let them come stay at my place," defensive tackle Derek Landri said about the Navy players. "I'll feed them a steak or whatever they want."

*The running game got back on track after taking a few weeks off. The game plans against BYU and Tennessee called for more passes than runs. The Cougars sold out on the blitz and the Volunteers have one of the nation's best run defenses.

A more balanced approach was on display Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame ran the ball 39 times for 221 yards. It's been five games since they have cracked the 200-yard barrier. Darius Walker, who has been in a holding pattern since the Purdue game, led the charge, piling up 118 yards on 19 carries, including a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Irish a 21-7 lead. Walker eyes that 100-yard mark before every game.

"Always," Walker said. "It's a goal every game to rush for over 100 yards. That's a little side note. It's always important to get the W. It really feels good. I got to attribute this to my team. Our offensive line always does a spectacular job for me opening up holes. It's makes it a lot easier on me."

What about the touchdown run?

"It was a little iso play up the middle," Walker said. "I saw the safety come up and gave him a little head and shoulder. I went to the right and he went to the left. I got into the end zone and that was nice."

*The Notre Dame defense did their job in holding down Navy's rushing attack. The 239 total yards on the ground for the Midshipmen is more than 40 below their season average. It helped that Navy's second leading rusher, Matt Hall, went out of the game on their first offensive possession with a knee sprain and did not return for the remainder of the game. Quarterback Lamar Owens was kept in check as he ran 26 times for 62 yards. The longest run of the day was 12 yards by Karlos Whittaker.

*The second quarter is cash in the bank for Notre Dame. Coming into the game with Navy, the Irish were outscoring opponents 110-26 in the session. This trend continued on Saturday as Notre Dame scored three touchdowns to Navy's zero to help build a 28-7 halftime lead. The decisive 21-0 advantage in the second quarter was an accomplishment the Midshipmen could not overcome. Weis explained why it takes his team a little bit before hitting high gear.

"What happens is that you go through practice in a week and you put out the scout teams to show the opposing team's offense and defense," Weis said. "The problem with that is that although the appearance is the same, the speed at which they do it is not the same. Their offense is pretty dynamic. Although you can give an appearance at what they do, you can't do it at nearly the same speed. That usually takes time to get used to the speed of the game. Our team has done a nice job of once they get used to the speed of the game and playing fairly well in the second quarter."

*Weis was a bit tougher than usual on the players this week during practice. This was in part because Notre Dame was a 24 point favorite against Navy and he did not want his team relaxed coming into the contest. Apparently, Weis got his point across.

"I was tough on them this week as well as the coaching staff on that subject," Weis said. "From the guys I learned under, you put the most pressure on in situations like that to make sure there is no letup. I might have had a few choice words in pre-game to encourage them to come out at a high tempo."

"Coming into the week, he really expected us not to take the opponent lightly and he was just making sure we did," tight end Anthony Fasano said, who caught a touchdown pass in the game. "We did a good job of it. We had a good week of practice. The game plan was scaled back a little bit to execute the things we execute well. I think we did that on both sides of the ball."


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