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Football: Cardinal Cruise

Chris Allen | Saturday, September 25, 2010

There was no last-second heartbreak for Notre Dame Saturday as a balanced Stanford attack led by junior quarterback Andrew Luck wore down the Irish defense en route to a 37-14 Cardinal victory.


The loss, the third straight for the Irish, dropped Notre Dame 1-3 on the season.

“Our defense battled, had two interceptions,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “I’m not making any excuses for our kids, but we’ve played three, four really good football teams, physical teams, and our kids have battled each and every week, and we came up short this week. But they’re not going anywhere. They’re going to be back next week, and they’re going to strap it back up, and they’re going to fight and play as hard as they can. We’re going to build this program back to where it needs to be.”

Luck and sophomore running back Stepfan Taylor led Stanford offensively, with Luck throwing for 238 yards and one touchdown while Taylor took 28 carries for 114 yards. With the score 19-6 late in the fourth quarter, the game was broken wide open by two touchdowns over the span of 13 seconds by senior fullback and middle linebacker Owen Marecic. Marecic scored on a one-yard run at fullback and on the ensuing Irish possession intercepted junior quarterback Dayne Crist’s pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Stanford withstood a late touchdown from sophomore wide receiver Theo Riddick and padded their lead with senior kicker Nate Whitaker’s fifth field goal of the day to secure the big victory.