The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the regular season with an 11-1 record after taking down the Stanford Cardinal 45-14 in another very relaxing game. It was clear from the very start of the game that Notre Dame was going to likely win big, but how big was the bigger question. This was the last time Notre Dame was going to be able to show itself to the college football playoff committee, and yes — style points were needed.
KYREN FOR 1000 ALEX
Kyren Williams didn't have a HUGE night. He ran the ball 19 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns — which is still really nice, but it was a HUGE night for Kyren as he went over 1000 yards rushing on the season for the second year in a row.
Williams is the first Irish running back to have back-to-back 1000 yard seasons since Darius Walker did it in 2005 and 2006. He is just the fifth back in Irish history to do the thing, and along with Darius Walker, he stands next to Autry Denson, Vegas Ferguson, and Allen Pinkett as the five.
HE ISN’T A MACKEY AWARD FINALIST
Michael Mayer had a big night with 9 receptions for 1065 yards. Those 9 receptions put him over the top as school record holder for receptions by a tight end with 64 — beating out Irish great Tyler Eifert.
While the receptions are nice — Michael Mayer almost killed a man inside Stanford Stadium with a terrific block on the edge.
michael mayer please that man has a family pic.twitter.com/lGMdNYvvNk— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) November 28, 2021
The Ademilola brothers had a terrific game against Stanford. Jayson Ademilola was incredibly stout against the run even when not in on the tackle, but still got five of those along with a bone-crushing sack of Stanford quarterback tanner McKee. Justin Ademilola came up with 4 tackles which included a strip sack that he bear-crawled for the fumble recovery.
The Irish allowed a touchdown for the first time in over 14 quarters of play. That touchdwon cam on a 2 play drive right after a Jack Coan interceptions — but the Cardinal did manage a real touchdown drive in the 4th quarter. The Cardinal totalled 227 yards on the night with 138 of those yards coming in the 4th quarter. The Irish defense forced five 3 and outs on the night, and never let Stanford get anything going until the 4th quarter.
It’s a shame that Kevin Austin wasn’t able to score a touchdown on that 61 yard reception, because he had one hell of a game. Austin pulled in 6 balls for 125 yards and looked like one of the best players out on the field.
Speaking of touchdowns that were deserving... Braden Lenzy oulled in a 16 yard pass to to start the scoring off for the night. In all, he caught 4 passes for 49 yards and that TD. He also had a 12 yard run that had a shot at being a long touchdown, but the turf in Palo Alto was a much fiercer opponent than the Cardinal football team.
Tight end George Takacs finally got his first touchdown since his freshman year. It was a nice moment as the team looked incredibly happy for him. Last year against UNC, Yakacs had a famous diving attempt that fell short of the goaline, and then he had something similar happen last week against Georgia Tech — so this was a nice treat.
I’ll have more about Notre Dame’s postseason future coming up soon, but you really should take a moment to appreciate the recent past. 11-1 is a fantastic regular season — and there is absolutely no argument to say otherwise.