Notre Dame Athletics | November 19, 2017
Facing a Navy team which held the ball for over 40 minutes on Saturday, Brandon Wimbush and Notre Dame finally found a rhythm to put the Midshipment away.
Wimbush threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score as No. 9 Notre Dame rallied in the rain and wind to beat Navy 24-17 Saturday.
Wearing throwback uniforms with the name Rockne on the back of every player's jersey and helmets designed to evoke the leather lids from the era of Knute Rockne, one of the Fighting Irish's most famous names, Notre Dame (9-2, No. 8 College Football Playoff) kept its slight shot at a spot in the national championship playoffs alive heading into the regular-season finale next Saturday at Stanford.
Wimbush started slow before connecting with Kevin Stepherson twice and added his 14th rushing TD of the year as the Irish scored on three straight possessions late in the longest-running matchup between teams from different regions of the country, dating to 1927.
"I started seeing things a little more clear and adjusted to the tempo Navy was playing at," Wimbush said.
He threw a 30-yard touchdown to Stepherson in the third quarter and a 9-yarder for the eventual winning touchdown with 11:49 to go in the fourth quarter.
"I thought he was gritty and hung with it," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said of his quarterback's play in the wet and windy (gusts of 20 mph or more) conditions during the game. "I was proud of the way he responded."
Stepherson, who missed the first four games of the season as he worked through some issues with Kelly, caught five passes for 103 yards.