NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In a primetime matchup between undefeated teams, eighth-ranked Notre Dame (5-0) racked up 550 yards of total offense en route to a 38-17 victory over No. 7 Stanford (4-1) at Notre Dame Stadium.
Junior quarterback Ian Book went 24-of-33 for 278 yards with four touchdowns. Eleven of those completions went to senior wide receiver Miles Boykin, who turned them into 144 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Dexter Williams paced the Irish ground game with 161 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
The Notre Dame defense was led by senior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, who tied a program watermark with four sacks. Senior linebacker Te’von Coney notched a team-high seven tackles to go with a key fourth-quarter interception.
In total, Notre Dame outgained Stanford 550-229, including a 272-55 advantage on the ground. The Irish also managed to earn 29 first downs while limiting the Cardinal to 10.
How It Happened
After forcing a pair of Stanford three-and-outs, Notre Dame opened the scoring 6:47 into play when Williams took his first carry of the season into the end zone from 45 yards out.
Stanford responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 39-yard touchdown run by Bryce Love to tie the game, 7-7, with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.
The Irish converted on their second consecutive possession, an 11-play, 77-yard drive that featured a fourth-down conversion and two third-down conversions. Facing fourth-and-two from the Stanford 33-yard line, Book connected with Cole Kmet in coverage for 19 yards. Three plays later, Book found Nic Weishar in the end zone for a six-yard completion to give Notre Dame a 14-7 lead with nine seconds left in the first quarter.
Once again, the Cardinal answered the Irish touchdown on the ensuing possession with K.J. Costello completing a four-yard fade to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the end zone to even the score less than five minutes into the second quarter.
Notre Dame regained the lead with 39 seconds left in the first half after Book completed all five passes he threw during a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 1:24. Book connected with Boykin four times for 64 yards before firing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chase Claypool to make it 21-14.
The Irish, who outgained the Cardinal 307-198 through two periods, retained the seven-point lead into halftime.
Justin Yoon extended the lead for Notre Dame at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter with a 37-yard field goal.
Cardinal kicker Jet Toner connected on a 46-yard field goal with 2:16 to play in the third quarter to make it a one-possession affair entering the final period.
On the ensuing drive, the Irish progressed to the Stanford 32-yard line but failed to restore a 10-point advantage after Yoon’s attempt from 50 yards missed wide left.
Notre Dame forced a three-and-out on the next Cardinal possession before assembling a 10-play, 58-yard drive to earn a 31-17 lead with 8:16 remaining. The drive was capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Book to Boykin, the duo’s 11th connection of the night.
Coney intercepted Costello on the first play of Stanford’s next possession before Book hit Alizé Mack for a 35-yard touchdown pass on the very next play to make it 38-17 with 8:02 left.
Tillery earned two of his four sacks on back-to-back plays to open Stanford’s next drive as Notre Dame forced another three-and-out to regain possession with under six minutes to play.
The Irish picked up three first downs to run out the clock and seal a 5-0 start to the 2018 campaign.
The Irish will hit the road for the second time this season to take on Virginia Tech next Saturday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m ET on ABC and the ESPN app.