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Notre Dame 52, Navy 20

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Chase Claypool caught four touchdown passes to match a school record and No. 16 Notre Dame shut down Navy’s triple-option in a 52-20 rout on the 21st-ranked Midshipmen.

The 17th straight home victory for Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish did not sell out Notre Dame Stadium. It was the first time since 1973 Thanksgiving Day against Air Force, a string of 273 sold-out games. A crowd of 74,080, 3,542 below capacity, saw Notre Dame win for the 79th time in the 93-game series that has been played continuously since 1927.

“We executed flawlessly in the first half against a really good Navy team,” Kelly said. “Chase was outstanding, and the defense stopped a very difficult offense.”

Ian Book completed 14 of 20 passes for 284 yards and five touchdowns before exiting midway through the third quarter and the Irish (8-2, No. 16 CFP) up 45-3. It was his third game with five touchdown passes this season and followed a 38-7 victory at Duke in which he rushed for 139 yards and threw for four touchdowns, a Notre Dame first.

“I think we can safely assume he is the guy we thought he would be,” Kelly said. “He started slowly but has now found himself. He is the leader of our offense and our offense is playing at a high level now.”

But Book turned the high praise toward his wide receiver, who had seven receptions for 117 yards and now has 49 for 768 yards this season.

“Chase is having an awesome year,” Book said. “It’s starting to show on Saturdays by how hard he’s working in practice.”

Claypool had scoring receptions of 7, 47 and 3 yards from Book to give the Irish a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Book threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Braden Lenzy later in the quarter as Notre Dame took a 38-3 halftime lead and then hit Claypool with a 20-yard scoring pass on their final play of the game together. Claypool’s TD haul matched Maurice Stovall, who caught four TD passes against BYU in 2005.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Midshipmen (7-2, No. 23 CFP), who entered leading the nation in rushing with 357.9 yards per game.

“We got our butts whipped and it started with me,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “They had a great plan on both sides of the ball and we just got a total butt-whipping.”

The Irish defense forced three first-half fumbles by Navy’s shifty quarterback Malcolm Perry, who rushed 25 times for 117 yards before behind replaced in the third quarter by freshman Perry Olsen, who had a 43-yard TD pass to Mychal Cooper and a 2-yard TD run.

Irish defensive end Khalid Kareem forced two fumbles and linebacker Drew White had 10 tackles. Notre Dame turned four fumble recoveries into 24 points.

Associated Press


November 16, 2019

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