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Report Card: Stanford 45, Notre Dame 38

Matt Gamber | Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quarterbacks: A

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.

Receivers: A

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.

Linebackers: B-

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.

Coaching: C+

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.