Despite playing tough, Notre Dame added another loss on the road against Stanford to close out their regular season. Irish quarterback Tommy Rees threw two interceptions and put Notre Dame in a hole too deep to escape. Stanford is now preparing for the Pac-12 championship and eyeing a BCS bowl game while Notre Dame will likely compete in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium to cap off the 2013 season.
ESPN reported that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly discussed the bowl situation for the Irish saying, “There’s a lot of schools that obviously still have an opportunity to take some of those spots that are there. We’re in a unique situation this year. We’re appreciative of any bowl that would take a good, hard look at us.”
Stanford came into the game ranked 8th in the nation while Notre Dame was 25th and the final score was 27-20. Notre Dame put up a good fight, but seemed out matched by the Cardinal.
Kelly also shared his disappointment in the loss to Stanford saying, “There’s no moral victories. Very disappointed we weren’t able to come up with a play and win the football game. We didn’t come down here to play a close game.”
Notre Dame struggled to run the ball successfully against the solid Stanford defense. The Irish only ran for 64-total yards while Stanford was able to rack up 261-yards on the ground. That difference was a deciding factor in Notre Dame's loss. Tyler Gaffney was the man for Stanford rushing for 189-yards and a touchdown. Freshman Tarean Folston led the way for Notre Dame but only had 50-yards.
Both Stanford’s Ben Hogan and Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees threw two interceptions. Rees had a few more yards then Hogan but had to throw the ball a lot more. Wayne Lyons had both of the interceptions for Stanford while Bennett Jackson and Austin Collinsworth both had one for Notre Dame.
After going up three points to start the game, Notre Dame never held a lead for the remainder of the night. Stanford’s success running the ball gave them control of the game. Notre Dame started to make it a close game close but Rees’ interceptions gave the momentum back to Stanford. Stanford looked like the better team and deserved the win.
Notre Dame now hopes to secure one last win in whatever bowl they end up in and get back on track before next season. Also, hopefully, Tommy Rees and the rest of the departing seniors will be able say goodbye to Notre Dame with one last win.