It wasn’t an ideal start for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but they managed to stay steady to get a 45-24 win over the Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto — thanks in large part to 4 Ian Book touchdown passes. The field conditions are almost always horrible on The Farm, and the rain this week only added more awful to the community college field.
Stanford jumped all over Notre Dame early with an opening drive touchdown that looked efficient and well designed against this Clark Lea defense. Notre Dame was able to quickly counter with a long drive that ended with a Tony Jones Jr. touchdown via a screen pass. The Cardinal answered with a field goal, while the Irish offense struggled to stay consistent. Stanford got a short field touchdown to make things really uncomfortable at 17-7.
And then Isaiah Foskey took over.
Foskey blocked a punt that Justin Ademilola picked up and stumbled to the goaline, and Ian Book found Tommy Tremble for a short touchdown pass with 3 minutes left in the half. The Irish forced another quick Stanford punt, and Book threw a deep pass to Chase Claypool for a 41 yard touchdown.
Notre Dame went into the half up 21-17 after quite a few tense moments. They never let up.
Claypool and C’Bo Flemister added two more touchdowns, while Braden Lenzy kept getting first downs with some quick feet. Jonathan Doerer knocked in a 42 yard FG to make up for a 43 yard miss earlier,
After surrendering 17 points in the first half, Notre Dame’s defense completely shutdown the Stanford attack until their final drive late in the game that ended in a touchdown to make it 38-24. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah led all Irish defenders with 9 tackles and some excellent coverage against the pass.
A strip sack in the endzone netted Khalid Kareem his first career touchdown as a senior to make it 45-24.
This was the first Notre Dame win at Stanford since 2007 when Charlie Weis helped “guide” the team to a 3-9 finish.
Notre Dame finished the season 10-2, and now we wait for results around the country to find out their fate in the rankings and where they end up in the bowl madness.
More to come on OFD.