EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Navy rolled the dice early against No. 10-ranked Notre Dame, and the Middies paid when the numbers came up wrong.
Reggie Brooks ran for a touchdown and caught one of Rick Mirer's two scoring passes in a 24-point second quarter as Notre Dame defeated winless Navy, 38-7, Saturday for their 29th consecutive victory over the Midshipmen.
The Fighting Irish (6-1-1) scored on five of their six possessions, converted 10 of 12 third-down plays and piled up 315 yards on offense in building a 31-0 halftime lead and sending Navy to its seventh consecutive loss.
"It was good to get up early," said Mirer, who completed a season-high 15 of 24 passes for 221 yards. "That way the offense can just let things take care of themselves instead of having to force things."
It was Navy that tried to force things.
The Midshipmen tried to make something happen on the opening series of the game. With fourth and inches at its 49-yard line, Coach George Chaump went for the first down.
Fullback Cleavon Smith got the call up the middle out of the wishbone but lost inches as tackle Bryant Young stopped him short.
Eight plays later, Jeff Burris, a safety who plays tailback in goal-line formations, scored from five yards out for his third touchdown of the season.
"They are in a no-lose situation," Mirer said. "If they are going to beat us they know it's going to take a few things like that to keep drives alive. I commend them. I'm not going to doubt why they did it. They just wanted to make something happen."