It was not the start Notre Dame wanted against Navy, which holds a 7-0 lead entering the second quarter on the Irish's 25 at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Midshipmen got the ball on their 48 after challenging a Robby Parris catch and winning when the play was ruled a fumble.
Navy marched down the field, primarily running up the middle against Notre Dame, to the Irish's 1.
Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs then scored his nation-leading 17th touchdown. Dobbs ran for 41 of the 52 yards on the scoring drive that took 6:08.
A positive from the opening drive was that Navy burned two of its timeouts, calling one on fourth-and-1 with 10:22 remaining in the first quarter and another before its touchdown to take a 7-0 lead with 7:15 to play in the quarter.
Then freshman kicker Nick Tausch missed only his second field goal attempt of the season with 2:50 remaining in the first when his 41-yard attempt went wide left. Tausch had converted 14 attempts in a row.
Notre Dame's defense needs to close the middle. Navy was able to run straight up the gut on nearly every run of the first drive.
The Irish have to force the Midshipmen into second-and-long and third-and-long situations. Navy converted two fourth-down plays and a third-down play in the first quarter.
On the plus side, receiver Michael Floyd is clearly back from his broken collarbone.
The sophomore caught a 13-yard pass on the first offensive play of the game, and he had a 23-yard reception after he spun away from a Navy defender on Notre Dame's second drive.