Report Card: Stanford 45, Notre Dame 38
Matt Gamber | Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Clausen posted gaudy statistics and showed yet again that he can make all the throws, including several tough ones on the run.
Running backs: B
Riddick’s early fumble led to a Stanford touchdown, but he and Hughes both ran hard and averaged nearly six yards per carry.
Tate and Floyd combined for 286 yards and five touchdowns, including several highlight-reel catches and runs that kept the Irish in the game.
Offensive line: B
The line looked good for most of the night but couldn’t give a push on a big third-down or allow Clausen time on Notre Dame’s last drive.
Defensive line: C-
Stanford ran all over the Irish to the tune of 280 yards, and the blame for that falls first with the big boys up front.
Te’o and Smith each had five tackles and made some nice plays, but the effort was inconsistent and Gerhart found too many open running lanes.
Defensive backs: B
McCarthy and Brown, who also had a sack, led the team in tackles, and considering Stanford’s running success, the pass defense was OK.
Special teams: A-
Designed pooch kicks gave Stanford good field position, but Ruffer was perfect, Turk was solid and the punt coverage team recovered a fumble that led to the first Irish score.
Weis dialed up a few nice gadget plays, and the team kept its composure despite a tough start. But the Irish couldn’t finish a game yet again, and that continues to fall on the head coach’s shoulders.
Final GPA: 3.04
A familiar story for Notre Dame, as the Irish lose a close one in which they led late and showed glimpses of greatness on offense but failed on defense.