PALO ALTO, Calif. — The 16th-ranked University of Notre Dame football team overcame a 10-point deficit and scored 24 unanswered points to close out the regular season with a 45-24 victory over Stanford on Saturday at Stanford Stadium.
The Irish (10-2) reached the 10-win plateau for the third straight season and the fourth time in five years.
Quarterback Ian Book became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw for at least four touchdowns five times in a season, going 17-for-30 for 255 yards. Wide receiver Chase Claypool snared two touchdown passes, surpassing Jim Seymour to move into 10th place in the Irish record books with 18 career touchdown receptions. He finished with three catches for 63 yards, while tight end Cole Kmet led all Irish receivers with five catches for 77 yards.
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah led the Irish with nine tackles, while defensive lineman Ade Ogundeji had six tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble and Khalid Kareem had five tackles and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
How It Happened
After Stanford scored on its opening drive when quarterback Davis Mills connected on a five-yard pass to Brycen Tremayne, the Irish responded on their first possession to tie the game at seven. On the 75-yard drive, Book was 4-for-5 for 70 yards, including the screen pass to Jones that went for a 16-yard touchdown. It was Book’s 30th TD pass of the year, making him the second Notre Dame quarterback to reach the milestone (Brady Quinn did it twice). It was also the 53rd of his career, moving him past Ron Powlus for fourth all-time in program history.
The Irish offense struggled throughout the rest of the half, but a blocked punt with 4:45 left in the half injected new life into the Irish attack. The Cardinal had taken a 17-7 lead, settling for a field goal after an 82-yard drive at the end of the first quarter and adding a Mills touchdown pass to Michael Wilson on their first possession of the second stanza. On the next Stanford drive, however, the Irish forced a three-and-out to induce a Cardinal punt from their own 24. Freshman Isaiah Foskey blocked the attempted and recovered it at the Stanford one-yard line.
A false start penalty pushed the Irish back to the six, but Book found Tremble on third down to pull the Irish within 17-14.
It appeared to be the boost the Irish needed, as the offense erupted on the next drive, covering 76 yards in three plays and ending in a 41-yard touchdown reception by Claypool to make it 21-17 with 1:20 left in half.
Book and Claypool hooked up again on the next Irish scoring drive late in the third quarter with an eight-yard touchdown to cap an eight-play, 86-yard possession with 3:10 to go. Jonathan Doerer made it 31-17 at the 13:34 mark of the fourth quarter after Irish long snapper John Shannon recovered a muffed Stanford punt return.
After the Irish forced Stanford into another punt, the Irish scored their first rushing touchdown of the night when C’Bo Flemister punched it in from one yard out with 5:10 remaining. The play capped a 10-play, 72-yard drive and was preceded by rushes of 28 yards by Jafar Armstrong and 24 yards by Braden Lenzy.
Stanford tacked on a touchdown on its next possession, but after the Irish backed up the Cardinal with a punt to the two-yard line, they removed all doubt in the final minute after Kareem recovered a fumble forced by Ogundeji in the end zone to account for the final 45-24 score.
- QB Ian Book and S Alohi Gilman represented the Irish as captains for the opening coin toss. Stanford won the toss and elected to receive.
- With the win:
- Notre Dame improved to 10-2 on the season, and 21-13* all-time vs. Stanford.
- Brian Kelly posted his third career win over the Cardinal, and first at Stanford Stadium.
- The Irish reach 10 wins for the third consecutive season, the first time since the 1991-93 seasons that Notre Dame has accomplished the feat.
- With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Irish received the ball and compiled a three-play, 76-yard drive in 21 seconds to score their second touchdown in a minute and 41-second span.
- After the Cardinal’s second touchdown to put Stanford up 17-7, Stanford’s next six drives ended in a punt, and the seventh was a muffed Cardinal punt return recovered by the Irish.
- With the recovery of the muffed punt in the third quarter and fumble recovery in the end zone in the fourth, Notre Dame has totaled 26 takeaways this season, the second-most in the FBS, and tying the highest number of fumble recoveries in the FBS with Illinois.
- With his play in today’s game, Ian Book became the first Notre Dame quarterback with 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season. Jalen Hurts is the only other collegiate student-athlete to hit these marks in the 2019 season and, since 2017, only Book, Hurts, Kyler Murray, JT Barrett and D’Eriq King have hit these marks in the regular season.
- Ian Book’s 33 touchdown passes this season rank second all-time in program history. Brady Quinn’s 37 touchdown passes in the 2006 season is the only more-prolific QB scoring campaign.
- With another four-touchdown passing game, Book has now hit that mark in six games in his career (one behind Notre Dame all-time leader Brady Quinn).
- This is the fifth time this season that Book has notched at least four TD passes in a game — most all-time in Notre Dame history.
- QB Ian Book hit RB Tony Jones Jr. with a 16-yard touchdown pass on Notre Dame’s first drive of the game, his 30th touchdown pass of the season to become just the second player in program history to throw for 30+ in a single campaign.
- On the three-play, 76-yard drive that took place in just 21 seconds, Book completed three straight passes of more than 10 yards to Cole Kmet (21 yards), Chase Claypool (14) and Claypool (41, TD).
- Jalen Elliott and Asmar Bilal each played in their 50th career game against the Cardinal. They become just the fifth and sixth players in Notre Dame history to play in 50 or more games during their career (Manti Te’o, Harrison Smith and Drue Tranquill with 51; Tyler Newsome with 50).
- DL Isaiah Foskey blocked a Stanford punt with less than five minutes remaining in the second half, the second blocked punt this season by the Irish (Bo Bauer) and Foskey’s first of his career. It was recovered by DL Justin Ademilola at the Cardinal 1-yard line, his first career recovery.
- TE Tommy Tremble’s second-quarter touchdown catch was the sophomore’s fourth receiving TD of the season. For the first time in school history, two TE’s have had four touchdown receptions or more in the same season (Kmet 6, Tremble 4).
- WR Chase Claypool caught two touchdown passes on the day, the first a 41-yard TD pass from Book to cap a three-play, 76-yard drive to take the lead, 21-17, heading into halftime; and the second an eight-yard reception to help put the Irish up, 28-17.
- Claypool passed Jim Seymour (16, 1966-68) to move into 10th place in the Notre Dame record book for career touchdown receptions. Claypool also passed the 2,000 career receiving yard plateau with the first TD reception.
- LS John Shannon recovered a muffed punt by Stanford in the third quarter, reclaiming possession for the Irish at the Cardinal 48-yard line.
*Includes one win vacated under discretionary NCAA penalty