Now that it’s official that sophomore Trey Miller will start at quarterback for Navy on Saturday in place of injured Kriss Proctor — it will be Miller’s first career start — it’s time to look back on a few other first-time starting QBs who began their careers against Notre Dame.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Notre Dame vs Navy in Baltimore, 2006
How he got there: Kaheaku-Enhada was named the starter after senior Brian Hampton sustained a season-ending knee injury in the previous game, against Rutgers on homecoming.
How he did: Kaheaku-Enhada had 19 carries for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns. His second touchdown closed Navy’s deficit to 17-14 just before halftime. But the Irish responded with a touchdown before the half, and another to start the second half, etc. Notre Dame won, 38-14, though Navy rushed for 271 yards.
Aaron Polanco, Notre Dame vs Navy in Baltimore, 2002
How he got there: Starter Craig Candeto sustained a serious ankle injury on the opening drive against the fifth-ranked Irish. So not technically a start for Polanco, though he did start the following week.
How he did: Polanco played the rest of the way and guided Navy to a 23-15 lead with 5 minutes left. Notre Dame scored twice, however, to win, 30-23.
Brian Madden, Navy at Notre Dame, 1999
How he got there: Starter Brian Broadwater sustained a broken clavicle, also on homecoming, in the previous game.
How he did: Fairly well by anyone’s standards. Madden rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown; Navy led 24-21 with around 1 minute 40 seconds left when the Irish converted a 4th-and-10, then scored the winning touchdown soon after.
Ben Fay, Navy at Notre Dame, 1995
How he got there: Fay made his first career start in place of Chris McCoy.
How he did: Behind Fay, Navy led at halftime, 17-14; Notre Dame came back to win, 35-17. Fay played quite well: He threw for 231 yards and rushed for 53.