Irish beat up on Cardinal
STANFORD, Calif. — When Notre Dame needed a spark to get going late in the first half, the special teams delivered.
Isaiah Foskey’s blocked punt set up Ian Book’s second of four touchdown passes and No. 15 Notre Dame reached double-digit wins for the third straight season by beating Stanford 45-24 on Saturday.
“It started with the punt block,” coach Brian Kelly said. “From there we got some momentum and started to settle down a bit offensively.”
Book turned the blocked punt into a 6-yard TD pass to Tommy Tremble late in the second quarter and then threw his first of two TD passes to Chase Claypool with 1:20 remaining in the half as the Fighting Irish (10-2, No. 16 CFP) quickly erased a 10-point deficit and snapped a five-game losing streak at Stanford Stadium.
Notre Dame also put together three straight seasons of at least 10 wins for the second time in school history, having previously done it under Lou Holtz from 1991-93.
Book was a big reason why, throwing for 255 yards with a 16-yard TD pass to Tony Jones Jr. in the first quarter.
“He’s found a stillness in him that he’s never had before,” Kelly said. “He plays the game differently now. His calmness is really about his confidence now and what he can do.”
Despite having nothing to play for, the Cardinal started fast and led 17-7 when Mills got stopped just short of a first down on a third-down run with about five minutes left in the half.
Foskey then blocked the punt from Ryan Sanburn, giving the Irish the ball at the Stanford 1. Three plays later, that turned into a TD.
Book then capped a three-play, 76-yard drive with a 41-yard strike to Claypool with 1:20 left in the half to give the Irish the lead for good.
Book had a 26-yard scramble on fourth-and-2 to set up an 8-yard TD pass to Claypool that made it 28-17 in the third quarter, putting the Irish in control.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Notre Dame 7 14 7 17–45
Stanford 10 7 0 7–24
STA–Tremayne 5 pass from Mills (Sanborn kick), 11:26
ND–T.Jones 16 pass from Book (Doerer kick), 9:54
STA–FG Sanborn 24, 1:35
STA–Wilson 27 pass from Mills (Sanborn kick), 9:29
ND–Tremble 6 pass from Book (Doerer kick), 3:01
ND–Claypool 41 pass from Book (Doerer kick), 1:20
ND–Claypool 8 pass from Book (Doerer kick), 3:10
ND–FG Doerer 42, 13:36
ND–Flemister 1 run (Doerer kick), 5:10
STA–Scarlett 9 run (Sanborn kick), 1:54
ND–Kareem 0 fumble return (Doerer kick), :41
TEAM STATISTICS ND STA
First downs 24 26
Rushes-yards 37-190 28-118
Passing 255 276
Comp-Att-Int 17-30-0 28-47-0
Return Yards 101 107
Punts-Avg. 6-37.33 7-40.42
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 11-95 6-56
Time of Possession 29:57 30:03
RUSHING–Notre Dame, T.Jones 14-50, Lenzy 4-48, Armstrong 3-44, Book 8-29, Flemister 5-21, Smith 3-(minus 2). Stanford, Scarlett 13-43, Mills 7-36, A.Jones 7-33, Peat 1-6.
PASSING–Notre Dame, Book 17-30-0-255. Stanford, Mills 28-46-0-276, (Team) 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Notre Dame, Kmet 5-77, Claypool 3-63, Lenzy 2-48, T.Jones 2-40, Tremble 2-16, Armstrong 2-3, Keys 1-8. Stanford, Wilson 10-96, Fehoko 6-63, Parkinson 3-37, Scarlett 3-25, St. Brown 3-14, A.Jones 1-24, Harrington 1-12, Tremayne 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–Notre Dame, Doerer 43.