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Notre Dame ends season with loss to Stanford, 28-14

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SO QB Andrew Hendrix impressed for the Irish
Terrible field conditions and a bruising Stanford defense did not aid No.22 Notre Dame's efforts on Saturday night against the 6th best team in the country in Stanford.

Stanford QB, projected Heisman Trophy winner and first NFL Draft pick, Andrew Luck, set a school record for the most career touchdown passes, throwing for 233 yards and four touchdowns to lead fourth-ranked Stanford past Notre Dame 28-14.

Luck also became only one of three Quarterbacks in history to defeat Notre Dame as starters in consecutive years. Purdue’s Mike Phipps was the first from 1967-69, followed by USC’s Matt Leinart from 2003-05. Stanford’s Andrew Luck became the third with victories in 2009 (45-38), 2010 (37-14) and 2011 (28-14).

Luck also passed John Elway's record of 77 touchdown passes which aided Stanford (11-1) in build a 21-0 halftime lead.
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Notre Dame QB, Tommy Rees, threw an interception, lost a fumble and took a bruising blow to the lower back early in the game for Notre Dame (8-4) before being benched. Rees was replaced by sophomore QB Andrew Hendrix who threw for 192 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a second-half rally for the Fighting Irish that came up short.

The win will likely see Stanford with the Fiesta Bowl berth among the leading possible destinations, the Fighting Irish will more than likely contest the Champs Sports Bowl against the Florida State Seminoles.

"We didn't come here for second prize," said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. "We got off to a slow start and battled against it. To me, the scoreboard showed 28-14 and that's not good enough. The slow start put us in a tough position."

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly benched Rees in favor of Hendrix to start the third quarter, and the move pumped some life into a stagnant Irish offense.

"Consistency is the one thing I have struggled with the most," said Hendrix, who completed 11 of 24 passes.

Hendrix was by far the standout of the game for the Irish, but an honorable mention would have to go to WR Michael Floyd. Playing in his last regular season game for the Irish, Floyd finished the regular season with 95 catches, breaking the Notre Dame single-season mark of 93 set by Golden Tate in 2009.
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