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Throwback Thursday: Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Stanford Cardinal 2000

A hidden gem.

Matt Lovechio #10
Matt Lovechio

After a short break, we are getting right back on that Throwback Thursday horse for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on One Foot Down. Friends, if you haven’t noticed by now — I’m not taking the easy way out with these posts. No... I’m not going to write about the 1988 Miami game for the millionth time, or the 1993 Florida State game, or [insert greatest games in Irish history].

Sorry not sorry.

I just think there are so many more interesting conversations we can have if we use a wider lens. Who’s to say that these even have to be wins — or even an actual game? I intend to publish these each Thursday throughout the offseason because well... what else are we going to do?

2000: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20, Stanford Cardinal 14

David Givens

Both Notre Dame and Stanford came into this game unranked and with 2-2 records. The Irish played four Top 25 teams in a row with all four of them being hard fought for 4 quarters. The Irish also lost their starting quarterback, Arnaz Battle, to an injury and they ultimately called upon freshman Matt Lovechio to start at quarterback.

The Stanford game was Lovechio’s first start, and Irish fans welcomed the “hope” to the season. It was a relatively boring game, but with 1:07 left in the game, Stanford scored a TD to cut the lead to six points. The Cardinal attempted an onside kick, but the Irish recovered and the Victory formation ran the clock out. Lovechio got his first win as a starter at quarterback as he went 10-18 for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Most of the greatness from this game came from Tom Hammond and Pat Haden in the NBC booth as they seemingly played caricatures of themselves. Here are some of the highlights from the game:

  • Bob Davie vs Tyrone Willingham OH MY!
  • Hammond and Hayden joked about Willingham using a Palm Pilot at halftime to check the weather. It was as if Ty told them about alien technology.
  • Haden kept shouting that Notre Dame was a TOP 5 TEAM IN THE NATION ON SPECIAL TEAMS. They weren’t ranked that way — he just felt it.
  • The countless camera shots of Lovechio’s parents, and then the awkward interview in the second half.
  • The crowd cheering about the Purdue Boilermakers upsetting the Michigan Wolverines was nice. Hearing the same cheer a bit later because the Miami-Florida Hurricanes beat the Florida State Seminoles on a field goal that went wide was a bonus.
  • David Givens was special and we never gave him enough credit. He caught 2 TD passes in this game and blocked a punt.
  • I always loved Kevin Rogers’s scheme, but thought he was a terrible playcaller. What’s not to like about wishbone one play, 5 wide right after, and then double tight Ace?
  • Stanford had a Samurai sword on the bench.
  • THE LEGENDS TROPHY GOT SOME SCREEN TIME [broke out a fist pump]
  • Pat and Tom talking about Rocky Boiman’s love for Metallica, and their confusion about his opinion that the heavy metal band had grown soft. Also... they played And Justice For All during the segment.
  • Stanford’s Willie Howard named their defensive line the “Trench Dogs” and got all of them dog chains to wear. TAKE THAT TURNOVER CHAIN!

All in all... it was a damn fine game to watch. Check it out: