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The Journal Gazette

  • Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly reacts during the first half against Navy on Saturday in San Diego. The Irish led 27-0 at halftime. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Saturday, October 27, 2018 10:10 pm

Notre Dame rolling 27-0 at halftime, Tranquill hurt

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

After 30 minutes, Notre Dame is all over Navy, leading 27-0 and leaving the Midshipmen no time to breathe on offense or defense. It's probably the most complete half of football the Irish have played this season, but there was at least one piece of bad news: linebacker and Fort Wayne native Drue Tranquill was hurt in the first half and has not returned.

Tranquill, a Carroll graduate and two-time captain with the Irish, was trying fight off a block early in the game when a Navy offensive lineman rolled up behind him and caught his lower right leg. The lineman's full weight ended up on the leg and Tranquill went to the ground, unable to walk off under his own power. The replay makes it look incredibly painful and the linebacker left the game on a cart with a towel over his head.

There was speculation that he had hurt his knee, but Tranquill later emerged from the locker room reportedly with a boot on leg, making an ankle injury more likely. He's certainly done for tonight, but it remains to be seen how many games he'll miss beyond this one, if any.

The fifth-year senior is second on the team with 47 tackles (one tonight), including six for loss, and is the emotional heart of the defense. If he's out for any length time, it will make two Notre Dame captains (along with offensive lineman Alex Bars) who have missed time with injuries this season.

Taking Tranquill's place at the important "buck" linebacker position was redshirt freshman Drew White, a former three-star recruit out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had two tackles filling in for Tranquill, but those are his first two of the season and he will struggle to replicate Tranquill's experience and instincts.

dsinn@jg.net