I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that we’re at the last game of the season, and yet here we are. Insanity. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame head to Palo Alto, California, this weekend to play the Stanford Cardinal. Notre Dame and Stanford have played 33 times with Notre Dame winning 20 times and Stanford winning 13 times. Notre Dame’s largest margin of victory was 57-7 in 2003, and Stanford’s largest margin of victory was 37-14 in 2010. Notre Dame’s longest win streak was from 2002-2008 (7 games), and Stanford’s longest win streak was from 2009-2011 (3 games).
This week I’m going to look back at the 1964 match-up between Notre Dame and Stanford. In this excerpt from the 1964 Football Review (The Scholastic), by Jamie McKenna, Stanford was not much of a challenge for John Huarte and the Fighting Irish.
Records For The Irish
NOTRE DAME, INDIANA, October 25 — If, at the end of today’s first half, the Stanford players looked a little pale, it was understandable. They had just been subjected to a statistical whitewashing that left them with a total offense of 31 yards and not a single thrust into Notre Dame territory. Stanford’s figures improved little during the second half and though their sum yardage of 56 seemed like sales tax beside the Irish total of 482, the Indians refused to surrender. Finally, late in the fourth quarter, they thrust over a lone score.
The Irish defensive unit proved near puncture proof. It handed the ball to the offense 14 times and they responded by rolling past three Notre Dame records. In the time it took Stanford to complete four passes, Huarte had attempted 37 and connected on 21. Jack Snow took advantage of Huarte’s two record totals by stashing away eight receptions and pushing his season pass yardage to a record 595. But the pass didn’t bring Notre Dame all the way. Halfback Bill Wolski, whose speedy starts and flashing knees made holes last a little bit longer than usual, had his finest day in college football. He caught two passes for 60 yards, barreled over Stanford defenders for 102 yards in 18 attempts, and scored three of the team’s four touchdowns.
After a scoreless first quarter and with 5:12 of the second period gone, place-kicker Ivan lifted the Irish to a 3-0 lead with a 28-yard field goal. Five minutes later Huarte dropped back from his 46-yard line, looked downfield, and there was a lonely, waiting Wolski. Bill took it on Stanford’s 16 and idled in untouched. With 53 seconds left in the half, Carey intercepted his sixth pass of the season and in seven plays Huarte had worked the ball down to the Indian one. Huarte pitched to Eddy who zipped around left end. Half-time score, 15-0.
Stanford had not done well. They had not completed a pass, or even made a first down. The Indian halfback, Ray Handley, who had gone into the game the nation’s leading rusher, did not even average three yards per carry. Yet pity had still not come to Notre Dame.
In the second half Huarte, on his own 17, passed to Farrell for 33 yards and then to Eddy for 17. It took nine plays and a 15-yard penalty to get the ball to the Indian one-foot line. On fourth down Wolski whammed over and Notre Dame led by 22-0.
With 7:55 elapsed in the third quarter, Stanford’s Cook lofted a high pass to end Connelly and Stanford had their first first down — but no more. Maglicic intercepted their next pass and hauled it 25 yards, but Notre Dame faltered.
After an exchange the Irish got the ball on their 20 and began to bite off yardage in big chunks. Farrell rammed for five, then Kantor went for nine, and Wolski peeled off eleven yards.
As the fourth quarter started, Huarte hit Snow for 16 yards, and a roughing penalty put the ball on the Stanford nine. Wolski punched over right end and upped the score six points. The conversion failed and Notre Dame was ahead 28-0.
But Stanford, whose attack had been as forceful as a heavy thistle, decided enough was enough. Defensive back Lodota intercepted a pass from reserve Bonvechio and put it on the Irish 32. Two plays and a penalty put the ball on the six-yard line. De Sylvia fired to halfback Lewis in the end zone, and Stanford had earned their six points and a little pride besides. But Notre Dame had won their fifth straight.
Cheers & GO IRISH!