Stanford 28, Notre Dame 14: A Quick Recap

Here is a quick look back at some of the highlights of Saturday’s depressing loss to Stanford.

It Was Over When …
Andrew Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 55 yard TD pass with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. It was Luck’s 4th TD of the game.

Turning Point
TJ Jones slipping on a slip screen on 3rd and 4 with just over a 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Jones had a ton of field and blockers in front of him. It was set-up to be a huge gain for the Irish.

Three Good Stats

  • 8 for 92 receiving yards — The offense was abysmal last night but playing in his 2nd to last game in an Irish uniform, Floyd did the best he good to provide some O. He continued his stellar blocking and scored the first TD of the night for the Irish.
  • 28 points allowed — Giving up 28 points in never ideal but keeping a Stanford team that had scored 30 points in 13 straight games and allowing only 7 points in the second half was an excellent effort by the D. If they had any help at all from the offense, this could have been a different game
  • 2 Turnovers Forced — Bob Diaco’s defense isn’t designed to generate many turnovers. But last night the D tried its best to keep the Irish in the game. Darius Fleming picked off Luck in the first half, and the D forced a 2nd quarter fumble. Unfortunately, the O squandered both opportunities.

Three Bad Stats

  • 57 rushing yards — I’d blame most of that abysmal number on the offensive line. They were overwhelmed by Stanford’s D-Line all night. Constantly getting blown off the LOS, there was very little running room for any of the backs. Additionally, since in CFB, sacks are considered loss of rushing yards, all the sacks given up last night effected this number.
  • 3 turnovers — After last night, we are currently 116th in the country in TO margin. Not much more can be said at this point. Just horrendous ball security.
  • 10 penalties — Some of the false starts were ticky-tack but having 10 penalties on the road against a top 5 opponent is probably not the best formula for an upset.

Three Stars

  • Michael Floyd — In his last regular season game for the Irish, Floyd put together another stellar outing finishing with 8 catches for 92 yards and a TD.
  • Andrew Hendrix — Coming in for good to start the 2nd half, Hendrix provided a spark for the team leading the Irish on 2 scoring drives. He made some mistakes, took some bad sacks and threw a tipped INT but Hendrix showed a good deal of promise and brought another dynamic to BK’s offense with his running.
  • The Defense — This game was lost by the offense. Despite being put in horrible situations by the offense all night, the D play admirably to keep the game close and allowed the Irish to have some hope of coming back in the 2nd half.

Housekeeping:

  • While in no way an excuse for our play, Stanford’s field was horrific last night. One of the worst fields I’ve seen ND play on in the past couple of seasons.
  • Floyd broke Golden Tate’s single season catch mark of 94 catches. He finished the regular season with 95.
  • Theo Riddick played some RB last night finishing with 4 carries. It will be interesting to see what happens in the offseason with Riddick.
  • Fleming’s INT was the 2nd of his career.
  • Ben Turk’s season long improvement was evident last night. He finished with av average of 42 yards on 6 punts, dropping 1 inside the 20 and was 6″ from having one downed inside the 5.

Next Week:
The regular season is finished. The Irish will wait around to see what bowl games selects them. Most observers believe it will be the Champs Sports Bowl. Speaking of that bowl, they have an awesome twitter account that you should definitely follow. (@ChampsSportsBwl)

  • trey

    That whole game felt like ND players decided they had no chance to knock off the #6 team in the country and didnt even try. It was embarrassing from the opening kickoff. Chance after chance presented itself for us to start hot and win that thing and we NEVER took advantage. F***ing embarrassing.

    • http://www.herloyalsons.com Matt Q. (DMQ)

      I don’t agree. The defense looked rather clearly ready to come to play. And really quite a bit of the offense looked good, but for the somewhat questionable penalties to start. The real problem was that the middle of our offensive line couldn’t keep Rees from getting destroyed. That’s not a “spirited play” problem. That’s a “our current starting center wouldn’t be starting for any of our opponents” problem.

      • http://www.herloyalsons.com The Biscuit

        Mentally, our offense wasn’t there in the first half. That was, to me, the killer. The D showed up just fine outside of that 2-minute drill TD to end the first half.

        Rees was also outmatched, again, by a defense that figured out how to get to him, literally and figuratively.

  • Scranton Dave

    I wonder if Matt still think Rees was the right choice at QB. I just hope Kelly isnt so arrogant that he names Rees the starter for the Bolw Game. Hopefully last Saturday is the last we see Rees in a meaningful part of any game.

    • http://www.herloyalsons.com Matt Q. (DMQ)

      There are things I think, and there are other things I know. Given the mix, I feel that Rees was the right choice. Pretty strongly, actually.

      • http://www.herloyalsons.com The Biscuit

        Key word: WAS

  • Scranton Dave

    I think Kelly felt Rees was the safe choice, in part because of his 4-0 record as a starter last year. I always thought his record as a starter had little to nothing to do with what he actually did, but in this world of QBs getting too much credit or blame, that record carried more weight than it shouldve in my opinion. I think we all can agree that Rees is limited physically, and a terrible fit for this offense, but for whatever reason Kelly wasnt comfortable with Crist. I believe that Crist played better last year ( throw the records as a starter out, as I think we can agree that the rest of the team jelled the last 4 games laast year) than Rees did this year, and you would think that in year 2, the obviously more physically gifted Crist wouldve improved at least a little, and maybe the light switch wouldve went on, and he wouldve got a lot better. I will go to my grave thinking Crist wouldve done better than Rees this year if he was never pulled in the USF game, but we will never know.

    Hopefully this is the end of Rees, and Hendrix will start the Bowl game, and either he or Golson will be the QB next year.

    • canuck75

      The biggest shock to me was our inability to block them. Golic may be not as good as Cave, but they were coming from every direction. And for once, it did look like the first hit rattled Tommy. But we can’t beat anyone without better blocking.
      I have defended Tommy and Coach all year. However, this was definitely the time to make a change. But what happened to our hurry up offense? Tommy is at his best with the quick release, and we didn’t seem to do that at all.
      I agree that the D was great. If Harrison caught that int… if Motta doesn’t fall down… I know, excuses.
      What I also needed to see was a little more fire. They roughed Tommy twice. The horsecollar on Fleming. Someone needed to hit Luck in the mouth at least once.
      I expected a bit more from Manti too. If he’s really the best mlb he needs to make a play every game that takes your breath away.
      Coach did not call a great game. We do need more from him on the big games.