First-time starting QBs for Navy against Notre Dame

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.

12 thoughts on “First-time starting QBs for Navy against Notre Dame

  1. Navy72

    Great point, Christian.


    If we can figure out a way to get: a couple of turnovers (ND had 10 TOs first two games and had several more last week against USC), then this could be a ball game. That presumes, of course, that ND scores somewhere under 30 points. That particular presumption escalates the stakes from the HOPE, HOPE, HOPE level to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

    Love it when the Mids are UDOGS. Don’t forget when we beat ND & Jimmy Clausen in ’09 we were 20+ dogs. Upset possible.

  2. DJ

    Brian Madden had a W snatched by one Perry Hudspeth, and the spot from God. In all my time watching Navy football, there was never a call more egregious than that one. ND fans were speechless as all they could do was smile. Madden did turn it over 3 times, but Chris Lepore was superman on special teams and D. Poor Charlie Weatherbie.

  3. Stephen

    Anyone who doesn’t want to sit through the ND-centric pregame blather, Duke’s threating to upset VaTech on WJZ


  4. Stephen

    @Navy72 Yes, my favorite memory of that game was Clausen suddenly thinking he was an option quarterback, trying to run it in for a touchdown, and coughing up the ball on the one foot line. Good times…

    When they graduate, they will perhaps face a fight that is stacked against them. No better place to start. For those so minded, I would offer the words of GEN OP Smith at the Frozen Chosin: “Retreat, hell … We’re just attacking in another direction!

  5. Obstcr

    I like our depth. The scoreborard did not show it but rotating our players, especially our QBs, will pay off. Positive vibes about Miller for the rest of the season and next.

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