SOUTH BEND - Chris Salvi never made it to the interview room Saturday night, but the senior walk-on safety made sure his game-day captain title wasn’t purely ceremonial.
The Lake Forest, Ill., product and Carmel Catholic High grad went all Mike Anello on Navy Saturday, collecting two special teams tackles in Notre Dame’s 56-14 rout.
“I think he represents all of the great things that we want in our football players,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said. “He's a non-scholarship player. He loves Notre Dame. And he was very emotional when we named him captain. But more importantly, I think our players were more emotional. They were so happy for him being named a game day captain.”
“He's a very important part of our football team in what he represents and how hard he works. He's also very productive for us in our special teams.”
A week after a relief appearance ended in heartbreak for former starting Irish QB Dayne Crist, the senior from Canoga Park, Calif., got another chance to play and made the most of it.
Crist completed all three of his pass attempts, for 23 yards, and rushed twice for eight yards in a scoring drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown spin into the end zone by freshman running back George Atkinson III.
On Oct. 22, Crist fumbled a snap on the USC 1-yard line that was returned for a TD in a 31-17 loss to the Trojans.
“I thought he did a great job,” Kelly said. “Threw the ball well, got into two really good checks. Yeah, we worked on the same mechanics. He practiced the same way, and he was the next guy in.”
-- Freshman Chase Hounshell, playing a reserve role on the defensive line Saturday, suffered a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game. Kelly did not immediately know the extent of the injury.
-- Senior nose guard Brandon Newman saw his first action of the season and only the second of his career on Saturday. He did not record a tackle, though, during his cameo.
-- Twenty-four of Navy’s 50 rushes Saturday went for two yards or less.
-- ND’s four rushing touchdowns in the first half alone equaled Notre Dame’s high for the season (against Air Force). The Irish finished with seven.
-- Navy’s two touchdown drives covered just 28 and 26 yards, and both were set up by Irish turnovers.
-- Quarterback Tommy Rees’ 56-yard touchdown pass to Floyd was his 15th TD pass the season and 27th of his career. That moves him into a tie with Steve Beuerlein and Terry Hanratty for eighth all-time at Notre Dame.
Staff writer Eric Hansen: