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Quinn, Walker shine as Notre Dame cruises past Stanford

Oct 7, 2006 - 10:15 PM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Brady Quinn and Darius Walker have Notre Dame off to its best start in eight years.

Quinn threw for three touchdowns and Walker ran for more than 100 yards and a TD as the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish rolled to a 31-10 victory over Stanford.

Quinn completed 27-of-37 passes for 232 yards for Notre Dame, which is 5-1 for the first time since 1998 after its sixth straight victory over Stanford.

"There aren't many quarterbacks who can play the game the way he plays the game," Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said of Quinn. "Most quarterbacks want to lay up to a couple good guys they have and throw it over and over again. This offense doesn't work like that and I thought he was pretty well on today."

Quinn opened the scoring with an eight-yard TD pass to Jeff Samardzija in the first quarter and a 15-yard scoring strike to Rhema McKnight in the second gave Notre Dame a 14-3 lead at the half.

Quinn completed a pass to seven different receivers, and after failing to throw a touchdown in a season-opening win at Georgia Tech, he has tossed 16 in his last five games. This was his 12th career game with at least three TD passes.

"It's what we talked about all week. We wanted to get a meticulous win, just going down the field and scoring," Quinn said. "We never wanted to give them an opportunity to feel like they were in the game."

Walker provided balance for the Fighting Irish offense, rushing for 153 yards on 25 carries. He ripped off a 32-yard TD run with 9:30 left in the third quarter to give the Fighting Irish a 21-3 advantage.

"It feels good and I have a lot of confidence going into the game right now, and I'm really feeling comfortable on the field," Walker said. "(The run game) keeps us versatile. When everything is clicking, the defense really doesn't know what we're going to do."

While Notre Dame is enjoying one of its best starts in recent memory, Stanford continued one of its worst. The Cardinal are now 0-6 for the first time since 1983, when they finished 1-10.

"We have a lot of work to do," Stanford coach Walt Harris said. "We ran into a good football team with a good quarterback, and they protected him tremendously well and they operated like you expect them to."

Stanford was outgained, 427-197, and scored its only touchdown on a trick play in the fourth quarter.

Running back Anthony Kimble pulled up on a sweep to throw a 57-yard TD pass to Kelton Lynn to make it 24-10 with 14:34 to play. Notre Dame answered on its ensuing possession, capping the scoring on a one-yard TD pass from Quinn to tight end John Carlson.

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