Notre Dame's trip to Ireland could not have gone much better.
The Fighting Irish eased in their new quarterback, showed they have a couple of capable replacements for their suspended star running back and even got a touchdown from a 300-pound defensive lineman.
Theo Riddick and George Atkinson both ran for two scores and defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned a fumble 77 yards for another TD as Notre Dame routed Navy 50-10 in Saturday's season opener in Ireland.
A crowd of 49,000, mostly visiting Americans, filled Dublin's Aviva Stadium for the first U.S. college game in Ireland since 1996, when the same two teams played in the Emerald Isle Classic.
The Fighting Irish dominated the game, running the ball at will against Navy's undersized defense and showing no signs of missing starter Cierre Wood. Riddick gained 107 yards on 19 carries, Atkinson 99 on only nine carries.
Riddick started the Irish blowout with an 11-yard run to cap an 11-play, nearly six-minute opening drive. Atkinson broke free on the next drive, sweeping right and then cutting back and rampaging untouched through a bevy of Midshipmen for a 56-yard score.
Quarterback Everett Golson, making his first start, put the Fighting Irish ahead 20-0 with a 5-yard end zone jump ball to tight end Tyler Eifert, who beat two smaller Navy defenders.
Golson finished 12 of 18 for 144 yards.
Navy appeared to be heading for its first touchdown in the second quarter, but backside pressure from Notre Dame defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore spurred a fumble from Navy quarterback Trey Miller.
Tuitt scooped up the ball and rumbled untouched 77 yards to put the Irish ahead 27-0 with barely 2 minutes left in the half. It was Notre Dame's longest fumble return since 1985 and third-longest in history.
AIR FORCE 49,
IDAHO STATE 21
Cody Getz ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns, Connor Dietz rushed for 74 and a score and had 142 yards passing as Air Force beat Idaho State.
Jon Lee and Mike DeWitt also had touchdown runs for the Falcons, who ran for 490 yards and had 628 yards of total offense.
Kevin Yost was 41 of 52 for 355 yards passing and two touchdowns, and Josh Hill had 55 yards receiving and two scores for the Bengals. Getz had scoring runs of 9, 63 and 41 yards as he became the first Air Force player to rush for more than 200 yards since Chad Hall had 275 against Army on Nov. 3, 2007.