Updated: Saturday, October 16, 2004 4:47 PM EDT
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Notre Dame 27, Navy 9
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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Navy Midshipmen
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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Forty-one and counting.

Ryan Grant ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns as Notre Dame built a comfortable early lead and continued its domination of previously unbeaten Navy with a 27-9 victory at Giants Stadium.

Notre Dame (5-2) defeated Navy for the 41st straight time, the longest winning streak by one opponent over another in NCAA history.

"(The streak) was something we talked about. Hopefully it was not something they were scared of, and the pressure that comes with it," Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham said. "This was a different Navy team that we were very respectful of."

Navy (5-1) was off to its best start since 1979 but was given a reality check by Notre Dame, which scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and did not allow the Midshipmen to complete a pass until the fourth quarter.

Aaron Polanco of Navy threw just five passes, completing three for 44 yards while absorbing five sacks.

"It doesn't make much sense to throw the ball if the quarterback is looking up at the sky every time he throws it," Navy coach Paul Johnson said.

The Fighting Irish marched 81 yards in six plays on the opening drive, capped by a 33-yard touchdown run around left end by Marcus Wilson. It was the first career TD for the senior from nearby Staten Island, New York.

Navy drove into Notre Dame territory on its first possession, but Kyle Eckel was stopped short of a first down on 4th-and-5 at the 36. Brady Quinn completed a 30-yard pass to Matt Shelton before Grant went around left end for 19 yards to the 1, setting up his touchdown on the next play.

Quinn completed 11-of-20 passes for 130 yards.

D.J. Fitzpatrick kicked a 47-yard field goal late in the first quarter to give the Irish a 17-0 halftime lead and added a 20-yarder early in the fourth quarter.

Grant scored on a one-yard TD run late in the third quarter to cap a 13-play, 73-yard drive and increase the lead to 24-3.

Eckel carried 22 times for 102 yards for Navy, which scored its lone touchdown on a five-yard run by Frank Divis with 4:19 left. Geoff Blumenfeld kicked a 29-yard field goal in the third quarter.

© 2005 STATS, Inc
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