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Football: Laws, Zibby climb all-time tackle lists

Chris Khorey | Tuesday, November 27, 2007

PALO ALTO, Calif. – With eight tackles Saturday against Stanford, Notre Dame fifth-year senior defensive end Trevor Laws came up just one short of the all-time Notre Dame record for tackles in a season by a defensive lineman.

The record is held by Steve Niehaus, who made 113 tackles in 1975.

Laws, Notre Dame’s leading tackler this season, missed several plays at the end of the game Saturday after spraining his foot.

“Everyone knows I would have had [the record] if I didn’t get hurt,” he said.

Laws’ eight stops also moved him up four spots on Notre Dame’s all-time tackles list. He passed Courtney Watson, Greg Collins and Brandon Hoyte.

Laws also blocked a field goal Saturday. It was his third blocked kick of the season and the sixth of his career.

“It tipped my left hand,” Laws said of the block. “I didn’t know if I got enough, but when I turned around and saw that it was short I was like ‘yes!'”

Irish safety Tom Zbikowski also finished his career among the all-time Irish greats. The fifth-year senior ended his college career with 299 tackles – most all-time for a Notre Dame defensive back and eighth on the career list at any position.

Dominating the Cardinal

Notre Dame’s win Saturday was its sixth straight against the Cardinal, who have not won in the series since 2001. The Irish were awarded the Legends Trophy after the game, which the two schools compete for.

The trophy is a large glass bowl with emblems of the two teams on either side. Several Notre Dame players carried it around during the post game celebration, occasionally shouting, “We won the bowl.”

Missed field goals

The Irish and Cardinal were a combined 0-for-5 on field goals Saturday, with four misses by Stanford kicker Derek Belch and one by Notre Dame kicker Brandon Walker.

Thomas touchdowns

Fifth-year senior halfback Travis Thomas only got one carry Saturday, but he made it count with a 1-yard plunge in the second quarter. The touchdown was Thomas’ fifth of the year in just 27 carries.

Interception streak broken

After not throwing an interception in his previous 101 pass attempts, freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen found himself under pressure and threw the ball to Stanford defensive lineman Emmanuel Awofadeju in the fourth quarter.

“That was the one play [by Clausen] where I said ‘what were you doing?'” Irish coach Charlie Weis said of the play.

Empty seats

The announced attendance at Saturday’s game was 48,953 in 50,000 seat Stanford Stadium, although there were plenty of empty seats. The game was the second that Notre Dame has played in this season that was not officially sold out. The other was UCLA.

Irish fans dominated one of the end zones, and there were other smatterings of green around the stadium.

Alumni band

While the Band of the Fighting Irish did not make the trip, a brass band of about 25 Notre Dame alumni was in attendance and played various school songs throughout the game.