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Snap Judgments: Notre Dame 20, Stanford 13

Oct 13, 2012, 7:32 PM EDT


It may not have been pretty, but it was a classic finish for the Fighting Irish defense. With Stanford having 1st and Goal at the 3, the Cardinal got the ball to within a foot of the goal line with two plays to get it in. But the Irish defense wasn’t about to give up their first rushing touchdown of the year. With the defensive front stuffing Stephan Taylor behind the line of scrimmage on two consecutive plays, Notre Dame iced an instant classic with its defense — and even had to wait out a replay review in the pouring rain — before resuming their celebration.

Before we run down to hear Brian Kelly discuss it, here are a few snap judgments and answers to our previous questions as we recap the incredible 20-13 overtime victory for No. 7 Notre Dame.

Could Everett Golson beat Stanford’s defense?

No. And he almost beat his own team. While his offensive line didn’t help him out, Golson struggled in horrific conditions, completing only 12 of 24 passes while turning the ball over three times. To his credit, he rebounded from a disastrous start, and threw a clutch touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert.

But Golson’s suspect ball control (and internal clock) proved near fatal as he coughed up the ball multiple times, testing the patience of Brian Kelly and 80,000-plus fans in Notre Dame Stadium. Yet the quarterback rallied before he was knocked out of the game by a nasty helmet-to-helmet collision. From there, the Irish rode Tommy Rees for the game tying field goal and the winning touchdown pass.

Can the Irish get a big play or score from their defense or special teams?

Oh, let me count the ways. Other than the gigantic goal line stand to seal the game, the Irish got two interceptions and the defense played huge against Stanford, holding the Cardinal to 272 yards of total offense. Let’s call that a resounding yes.

Can the Irish weather the storm?

Barely. Showing a resolve we haven’t seen from Notre Dame teams of recent memory, the Irish did just that, battling back from a touchdown deficit and doing everything right down the stretch. The rain was certainly a major factor — right now there is a river running down the walkways inside the stadium — and the Irish coughed up the ball three times, but still managed to pull off the win.

Will this year be different?

This ending certainly was. Notre Dame didn’t play their A game. Probably not their B game, either. But a win is a win. Survive and advance, especially against a tough team like Stanford. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a heart-breaker either.

Notre Dame gets to 6-0 in dramatic fashion. That’s got to count as progress on a cold and dreary October night.


112 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM




  2. NotreDan - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Good job boys.

    Oh, and mark may STILL smokes a fat sausage. He’s just a stuck ficks.

    Where’s all those homos from the big 10?

    LMAO. vulvas all around

    • nudeman - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      “vulvas all around”. Where? I’m in

      • NotreDan - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        Whats up bro? GREAT with. U need to gimme ur email.

      • nudeman - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        Explain to me how to do that?
        Not putting it out here. Don’t need the inevitable 483 “F You Nudeman” messages.

      • NotreDan - Oct 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        Ok. Send ur email to The real response you get is me.

  3. kiopta1 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Defense= A
    Offense= C
    Spt= C-B

  4. elwaysmilehighdenver - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Yup! Whatever it takes. Even if the opponent gets screwed! Obvious blown call that wasn’t overturned. Nd overrated!

    • ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      see ya next year – loser.

    • tony34343434 - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      if a defensive player came in and hit the running back again you would be crying late hit, you lost get over it! and Elway and Peyton are losing too! LOVE IT! go IRISH!!!!!

  5. sportsfan1949 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I didn’t go to Stanford or ND, but the Stanford back scored on the last play.

    • irishfb05 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      Actually forward progress was stopped. If the rule is there to protect defenseless offensive players from getting injured then you can’t ignore the rule just because it may give them an advantage.

      • 9irish - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

        I bet these same jerks weren’t bitching about the “Bush push”. They stopped him, I was watching it live and he was done. What do you have to do, duct tape and hogtie the guy? Just an awesome game, especially for the defense. And for Tommy…he may not be the starter but he is a commodity that we cannot live without.

        Go IRISH

    • ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      It’s all your opinion now. Which, incidentally, doesn’t matter.
      They’ll be talking about it for years. We ND fans believe we stopped him. I saw it 20 times and still think we stopped him. And all that matters is what the final score says, and that is a resounding – NO, he didn’t score.

      • 9irish - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        BTW, I just saw it again, the line judge was running into the line while he was still squirming like a captured eel, meaning that the whistle had been blown.

    • ihatemistate - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      After he stopped, started again, finally went down, and lost possession of the ball. hmmm.

    • joeschu - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      I did go to ND, and I understand the argument. As a Packer fan, I’m particularly sensitive to games that end with screw jobs. While I understand the position that Stanford scored, I think there’s room for interpretation on this one. His forward progress had stopped, and you have no way of knowing if the knee or backside was on the ground in the pile. This was (sadly) never going to be a call that you could get objectively correct. It was subjective, and a PAC-12 crew called it the way they called it.

      It was a great game, and it is hard to see it end with this sort of stain on it.

  6. kiopta1 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Chase was awesome for Stan. This was a battle of the Dline and LBs.

  7. ndirish10 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Left elbow was down before bal crossed the line. Stopped!! IRISH WIN!!! IRISH WIN!!!! GO IRISH!!!! With wv losing Irish will be in the top 5, and top 2 in BcS.

  8. irishfb05 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    First off let me say I am thrilled with the win. This is a little nitpicky considering we won but Keith since you obvious have more information than we do concerning the football program can you please tell me where Cierre Wood was in the first half? Honestly is he in Kelly’s doghouse?

  9. kiopta1 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Wash is giving USC a game so far.

    • papadec - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Yeah. The harder it rains here in Seattle, when these two play, the better the chances of UW winning.

      • papadec - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:01 AM

        It didn’t rain hard enough – long enough. sc won. SHIT!!!!!!!!!!

  10. mmcss690 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Incredible finish, amazing defensive stance! Tommy is a cool cucumber and knows the reads! Nail biter throughout!
    Trolls go bite the 6-0!!!!

  11. bill2018 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Forward momentum was stopped. Big pile of players were lying under him. How long should the refs allowed him to keep trying. Should they have left and got a big Mack and then come back? Would that have been enough time?

  12. steincj36 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Watch the replay…. With sound. The line judge blew it dead before Taylor rolled over and stretched the ball out. That’s why the ND players were running away from the play as Taylor was still reaching.

    If the Irish keep playing like this, I’m buying stock in Tums.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      if you buy stock in Tums, i’ll be one of the people that helps make that a good investment. It’s kinda weird, but that nervous feeling is ALWAYS there until we’re up two scores, then i tend to relax.

      On a side note, four f-16’s flew directly over my house right before the final drive in regulation and i almost shit my pants. I probably could have hit one of them with a pitching wedge. IRISH WIN….now GO JACKRABBITS!

      • ihatemistate - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        You are so funny…where do you live that you had f-16’s flying over your house?? That is too funny.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        Brookings, SD…about 3/4 mile due south of South Dakota State University’s stadium

    • papadec - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Let’s not forget – the field officials were from the PAC-12. So no Conference or Irish bias. They got the call right – the play was blown dead.

  13. idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Imagine if Harbaugh was still coaching…there would have been a fist fight with the refs after the game.

    The truth is, both defenses deserved to win the game and both offenses probably didn’t…but the final score dictates only one winner….HELLO 6-0

  14. kiopta1 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Haters out in force on espn website.

  15. gtizzo - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    You have it wrong Keith,

    Brian Kelly can’t beat a solid front seven. Kelly should have just told Golson “Hey kid my game plan is to get you kill…good luck!” This was Purdue all over again!! Any player lined up in the slot could have had a huge day. Stanford sells out there linebackers to get to the QB and stuff the run (something you would notice if you watch there games). They don’t care about the back half when Stanford was blitzing a check down to the slot would have worked 85 percent of the time. Those of you who don’t believe me how many false start flags did ND have in the Purdue and Stanford games? How many in the rest of there games? If BK can’t teach a QB to see the Blitz then he isn’t the QB guru he is said to be.

    • ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      WTF are you talking about?
      ND Wins. You sound like a loser.

  16. ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Much, much more than a win!
    For many years we’ve waited to watch our team play with the heart and soul that made us all fanst “the first time”.

    Thank you Notre Dame. Thank you Coach Kelly. Thank you Manti Te’o. Thank you Tommy Rees. Thank you Tyler Eifert. Thank you Theo Riddick, Thank you T.J. Jones. Thank you D-Boys!
    Thank you IRISH NATION!

    They played like a team that deserves the greatest fight song in sports. They woke up echoes. They shook down thunder from the skies. They transcended statistics. They transcended the game of football. They showed us once again why there is a real, live spirit of Notre Dame!

    Onward to victory!

  17. audiguy - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Great game. Guy was clearly not going forward.

  18. dudeacow - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Elbow was down before the ball crossed to goal line. STUFFED.
    But I’m still not hopping on the train. Not until the offense can start to get positive yardage.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      You bandwagon guys always amuse me…if you don’t believe YET, what will it take?

      • nf20ae - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        I hear ya…hear it all the time from my friends who are Penn State fans back home… won’t be convinced until they go 20-0 in the regular season

      • dudeacow - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM

        13-0. That’s what it will take.

    • papadec - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      dude – we’ll save you a seat on the bandwagon/train/bus. First on, last on, it doesn’t matter – you’ll be welcomed!

  19. adpatr - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I will never say anything bad about Tommy Rees ever again.

    • nudeman - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      I suppose I will
      Just being honest

  20. bednarc0001 - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    This was not the Bush push revisited!! Never again!! Manti Teo for President!!

  21. nf20ae - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Wow, what a game! Many ups and downs…was thinking about this all week with College Gameday in town..worried the boys wouldn’t be able to ignore it and tune it out..but like BK said “find a way to beat Stanford”…also couldn’t help but to see the irony or at least feel a slight sense of redemption from the last time Corso and co. rolled into town for the “game that shall not be named”… coming down to a goal line stand… its certainly clear this defense is showing a toughness and grittiness that has been missing for years…GOOO IRISHH!!

    • adpatr - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Ironic indeed.

  22. bearcatirishfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    What’s the over under for excuses that mark may makes for Stanford…. I’m going with at least three.

    • ndfaithful - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      he just called out the refs saying funny things happen with calls in ND.
      Love it!

  23. bearcatirishfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    P.s. mark may Is a d bag

    • alsatiannd - Oct 13, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      So is Lane Kiffin.

  24. ihatemistate - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Ok, I’m thrilled with the win but have to ask, where the hell is Cierre Wood?? Is he being punished or what? He is BY FAR the best running back we have and he rarely gets the ball. What is going on with that? And why are they so chickenshit to throw to Eiffert when the defensive end is 6 inches shorter than him? He can beat them and draw a pass interference all day long. Goulson had a rough day but I remember Brady Quinn had the same problem when he was just starting. He’ll progress. At least he will take off and run with it, something we haven’t seen in a long time. Just hope he’s ok. I think the last play was left as is because it was so iffy. Was the whistle blown? Was his momentum stopped? YES.. a couple times..was his elbow down? did he have possession of the ball when he crossed the line? Remember, to reverse the call it has to be indisputable.

    • nudeman - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      What is it about the name “Golson” that gives so many typists channel their inner Khaddafy/Qadaffi/Gaddafi?


      Not Goulson
      Not Gholsten
      Not Golsen
      Not Gholston

      Jesus … Hate to go all Catholic elementary school on you, but we’ve been writing and talking about this kid for nearly 2 years now. It ain’t that tuff.

      • ihatemistate - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        ok now, let me correct’s touff.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        “ok now, let me correct’s touff.”

        Absolutely FUCKING CLASSIC!!! I pray you were joking. Those sarcastic nuances tend to be missed in blog postings

    • Tim's Finds - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Riddick seems to be a much better pass catcher than Wood (Riddick 17 catches, 132 yds; Wood 2 catches, 9 yds), which is probably why he warrants equal playing time.

  25. tony34343434 - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Rees won a few games for us now. I think Golson has great talent but i think he needs more time, lets stop playing for next year by letting someone learn on the job. start rees who makes better decisions, short passes, run the ball and play good defense. That is what wins, GO IRISH!

    • ihatemistate - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      The fact that every game G-man will take off and run and make big gains is huge. That alone has won us games. Had that been Rees today he would have been sacked numerous times. I’d just keep doing what they’re doing.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        i don’t think he would have been sacked too often. He has the ability to read a defense pre-snap…that’s something that Golson is still learning

      • dmac4real - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:38 PM


        Just dont even try. Apparently these people dont understand that. It was the same people who wanted Dayne, then Tommy, then Dayne, then Hendrix, then Golson, now tommy. Just ridiculous.

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