Top 10 moments from 2012: No. 9

Our series continues today with the No. 9 moment from Notre Dame's 2012 season.

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Sept. 1, 2012. Irish open season in Dublin with rout of Navy (Story here)

Notre Dame's 50-10 win over Navy featured on-the-field statements such as the first start of Everett Golson's career and Stephon Tuitt's 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown. It was the first of 12 Irish wins in 2012, and it marked the team's biggest margin of victory as well. But the game was more of an event than anything else, a pleasant wake-up call on the first Saturday of the college football season, with a 9 a.m. E.T. kickoff getting everyone ready for a memorable Week 1.

There was a crowd of 49,000 fans at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with roughly 35,000 Americans traveling for a contest that was Navy's home game in name only. The game was the first college football game in Ireland since 1996, featuring the same two teams. And it was worth an estimated $125 million to the local economy.

Simply put, it was an atmosphere unlike any either team had been in, or probably ever will be in. While the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium and on-campus tailgates were a welcome sight a week later — and the jetlag may or may not have contributed to a closer-than-expected game against Purdue — the Emerlad Isle Classic was a success all-around. UCF and Penn State hope to open the 2014 campaign in Dublin, but until then, college football will have the 2012 tilt to remember.

From contributor Steven O'Rourke that day:

The Irish, the local and the Notre Dame variety, got the result they were hoping for, a 50-10 win; the local economy had a much-needed boost; and thousands of visitors got to sample a little piece of the hospitality Ireland is famous for.


No. 10: Rees replaces Golson on final drive, leads Irish to win over Purdue