BRONX, N.Y. - Tommy Rees threw for 214 yards and a touchdown, and Notre Dame converted two Army turnovers into 14 points en route to a 27-3 victory over the Black Knights in front of 54, 215 spectators at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.
Army (6-5) struck first, taking a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter as junior K Alex Carlton drilled a 20-yard field goal with 2:10 to play in the opening stanza. The Black Knights' drive began at their 20-yard line after senior FS Donovan Travis intercepted a Rees pass in the back of the end zone.
Army surprised Notre Dame on its first offensive play as sophomore QB Trent Steelman drilled a 27-yard pass to junior WR Davyd Brooks. The Black Knights' triple option attack then took over with sophomore SB Brian Cobbs and senior SB Patrick Mealy combining for 40 rushing yards to set Army up with a first-and-goal situation at the Notre Dame eight-yard line. The Fighting Irish defense stiffened, however, holding Army to three points. The Black Knights' 17-play march covered 78 yards and took 8 minutes, 45 seconds off the clock.
Notre Dame (6-5) responded on its ensuing possession as David Ruffer converted a 47-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Rees and Michael Floyd hooked up for a 33-yard pitch and catch to move the Fighting Irish into Army territory, but the Black Knights were able to limit Notre Dame to a field goal.
Army went three-and-out on its next offensive possession and Notre Dame took over at the Black Knights' 40-yard line following a 12-yard punt by senior P Jonathan Bulls. Notre Dame scored its first touchdown of the day four plays later as Robert Hughes rushed for a one-yard score. The TD plunge was set up by a 35-yard strike from Rees to Tyler Eifert down to the one-yard line.
After another three-and-out by Army, Notre Dame drove 71 yards in five plays to extend its lead to 17-3. Rees hit Floyd for 23 yards and then connected with Eifert for a 31-yard touchdown.
Army began the second half with the football, but Darrin Walls intercepted a Steelman pass on the Black Knights' third play of the drive and raced 42 yards down the left sideline to paydirt, extending the Notre Dame advantage to 24-3.
Notre Dame capped the scoring at the 5:23 mark of the third quarter as Ruffer connected on a 39-yard field goal.
Army finished with 135 rushing yards. Mealy led the Black Knights on the ground with 30 yards on six carries.
Cierre Wood ran for 88 yards on 14 attempts for Notre Dame, which amassed 155 yards on the ground. The Fighting Irish outgained the Black Knights by a 369-174 margin.
Army will be idle until Saturday, Dec. 11, when the Black Knights travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to battle Navy. Kickoff for the game, which will be broadcast nationally on CBS, is slated for 2:30 p.m.