NOTRE DAME SCORED touchdowns on its first three possessions and defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned a fumble 77 yards for another TD as the Fighting Irish routed Navy 50-10 in Saturday’s season opener in Ireland.
A crowd of 49,000 filled Dublin’s Aviva Stadium for the first US college game in Ireland since 1996 in a game that will reportedly be worth around €100m overall to the Irish economy.
Theo Riddick and George Atkinson ran for first-quarter touchdowns, and tight end Tyler Eifert caught a 5-yard TD pass.
Tuitt scooped up quarterback Trey Miller’s fumble and rumbled to the end zone to put the Irish up 27-0 in the second quarter.
Navy kicked a 26-yard field goal before halftime and opened the second half with a three-pass drive capped by Shawn Lynch’s 25-yard grab to make it 27-10. Atkinson and Riddick replied with two of Notre Dame’s three second-half touchdowns.
Speaking ahead of the game, Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar had said the occasion was a huge success and estimated that the short-term dividend for the event was approximately €60m.
Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy