Notre Dame saw its playoff hopes dashed in California as Stanford defeated the Irish 38-36. The Irish were beaten on a field goal as time expired giving them their second loss of the season by a combined total of four points. The difference in the game was Notre Dame’s inefficiency in the red-zone, settling for three field goals and only one touchdown in four trips inside the Cardinal 20 yard line. The Irish defense also couldn’t come up with key stops, letting Stanford drive down the field with 30 seconds to play to win the game as well as giving up scoring drives every time the Irish took the lead. The following players led the way for the Irish in defeat.
Notre Dame’s redshirt freshman quarterback competed like a senior in defeat. Kizer shredded Stanford’s defense through the air and on the ground, throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown while running for 128 yards and a touchdown. Kizer also led a fantastic final drive for the Irish, showing elite pocket presence and ability to make plays with his feet.
Freshman running back Josh Adams filled in for C.J. Prosise in a dynamic way. Adams was a force all day running both between the tackles and outside. The Pennsylvania native rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown averaging over nine yards per carry. He also added two receptions for 28 yards.
In what could be his last regular season game in a Notre Dame uniform Jaylon Smith played an incredible game as usual. Smith was instrumental in stopping Stanford running back Christian McCaffery from rushing for over 100 yards for the first time in the last 10 games. Smith had a team-high 15 tackles including a tackle for loss.
Irish kicker Justin Yoon was relied upon heavily as the Irish struggled to finish off drives. Yoon was a perfect 3/3 on field goal attempts, with makes from 25, 26, and 29. Yoon also drilled the extra point that gave the Irish the lead with 30 seconds left although they ultimately couldn’t hold on.