For all intents and purposes, the game was over before halftime. Notre Dame’s defense was suffocating for most of the game, and Stanford barely cracked 46 yards after two quarters.
Notre Dame started the scoring with a 16 yard touchdown pass from Jack coan to a much faster looking Braden Lenzy to cap a 5 play 75 yard drive. On Notre Dame’s next possession, tight end George Takacs finally found the endzone for the first time in a couple of years to put the Irish up 14-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
Stanford continued to sputter. Justin Ademilola knocked the ball out of tanner McKee’s hands and bear crawled for a fumble recovery. The Irish couldn’t put it in the endzone, and Jonathan Doerer was brought out to make it 17-0 with a field goal.
The Irish forced another 3 and out against Stanford, and then manufactured a 12 play 75 yard drive that ended with a 1 yard touchdown dive from Kyren Williams. After forcing another quick punt, Notre Dame and Brian Kelly chose to not be aggressive to finish the half and had to punt the ball away. With one play left before the half expired, David Shae elected to kick a 59 yard field goal — which missed — and it was 24-0 at halftime.
Jack Coan had a good night, but still made some mistakes, and on the first possession of the 3rd quarter, he threw the ball into a tight window after staring down Kevin Austin — and it was intercepted. Two plays later, Stanford got in the endzone which is the first touchdown scored on the Irish defense in over 14 quarters.
Notre Dame answered right away, and after a 61 yard reception by Kevin Austin, Jack Coan snuck the ball in from the one to make it 31-7.
Tyler Buchner made an appearance in the 4th quarter and ran the ball 33 yards for a touchdown on his first drive of the game at quarterback. Stanford, who got a little sharper in the second half, quickly responded and got a 49 yard touchdown reception from Ben Yurosek via a Tanner McKee pass to make it 38-14.
Notre Dame rolled Buchner out for another drive, but it went nowhere and they were forced to punt. Stanford remained hot on their next drive, but Clarance Lewis stripped a receiver after a pass reception and Houston Griffith fell on it to give the Irish another possession.
Kelly sent jack Coan back out at quarterback, and Notre Dame actually went for the style points as a 77 yard drive that took over 5 minutes ended with a Kyren Williams touchdown to make it 45-14.
Much more to come about this game — and more importantly — the next destination for Notre Dame.