SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — C.J. Prosise rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns, two after Navy turnovers, and No. 15 Notre Dame beat the Midshipmen 41-24 on Saturday.
Prosise, who was held to 50 yards on 15 carries in a loss a week earlier against Clemson, scored on runs of 7, 22 and 11 yards as the Irish amassed 459 yards total offense. DeShone Kizer was 22 of 30 passing for 281 yards, including a 30-yard TD pass to Will Fuller.
The Midshipmen kept it close early as they rallied to tie the score at 21 late in the second quarter on TD runs of 45 and 22 yards by fullback Quentin Ezell after quarterback Keenan Reynolds went down with a leg injury. But a 52-yard field goal by Justin Yoon to close the first half and a pair of touchdowns early in the second half by Prosise gave the Irish (5-1) a 17-point lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Navy (4-1) entered the game tied for best in the nation with just one turnover, but had two Saturday. Chris Swain fumbled at the Navy 7-yard line in the second quarter and linebacker Jaylon Smith recovered. On the opening second-half kickoff, Dishan Romine fumbled at the 26 and Devin Butler recovered.
The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for Navy. The Midshipmen came into the game averaging 340 yards rushing a game and finished with 318, but couldn’t overcome the turnovers.
Reynolds, who left the game for nearly half the second quarter with an apparent leg injury, finished with 110 yards rushing on 15 carries but the Irish held him without a rushing touchdown for a second straight season. Keenan remains at 73 career rushing touchdowns, four shy of the NCAA record set by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.
Tago Smith led the Midshipmen to touchdown drives with Reynolds out and replaced Reynolds again with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. He drove Navy to the 30-yard line with six minutes left in the game, but his pass was intercepted by Notre Dame safety Elijah Shumate at the Irish 6-yard line.
The Irish took control with Prosise’s two touchdowns early in the third quarter. On the first, he ran past diving safety Lorentz Barbour and went untouched the rest of the way. He broke four tackles on the second, dodging past Navy defenders for an 11-yard TD.
Navy’s Austin Grebe missed a 44-yard field goal, the first miss of his career, but made a 40-yard attempt later in the third quarter to cut the lead to 38-24. Yoon added a 36-yard field goal for the Irish in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Navy jumped to a 7-0 lead early on a 13-yard run by Toneo Gulley after holding Notre Dame to a three-and-out on its first possession. The Irish had scored on their first two possessions against Navy in every game since 2011. It took the Mids just three plays to drive 70 yards, highlighted by a 51-yard run by Reynolds on the game’s first play.