for this game

Hughes fuels Notre Dame past Stanford

Nov 25, 2007 - 4:18 AM PALO ALTO, California (Ticker) -- Robert Hughes provided a bright end to an otherwise dismal season for Notre Dame.

The freshman running back scored a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Fighting Irish made a late defensive stand to preserve a 21-14 victory over Stanford on Saturday.

Notre Dame (3-9), which finished its season with back-to-back victories, avoided earning double-digit losses for the first time in the program's storied history. The Fighting Irish haven't finished with a two-win season since a 2-7 campaign in 1963.

Hughes rushed 18 times for 137 yards - and his 44-yard run around the left tackle late in the fourth quarter put Notre Dame at Stanford's 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Hughes ran around the right tackle and into the end zone to give the Fighting Irish the eventual winning margin with 6:06 remaining.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis credited his young players for making an impact - both on Saturday, and throughout the season.

"All along, we knew we were playing with some talented young guys," Weis said. "And that there was going to be a growing process that takes place. There are some growing pains that take place when you're doing it, but you know this game prepares us for next year."

Stanford (3-8) took the ensuing possession down the field before Notre Dame made a defensive stand at its 6-yard line.

On 3rd-and-goal, quarterback T.C. Ostrander hit Evan Moore in the hands, but the wide receiver was unable to make the catch. Ostrander's pass to Richard Sherman fell incomplete on the next play, sealing the win for Notre Dame with 30 seconds left.

"We had a chance to tie the game at the end, and we just didn't do it," Moore said. "We had a great opportunity to tie the game and T.C. threw a great ball to me, and I just dropped it.

"This is disappointing, but it is not like we haven't done this before. We have to bounce back and be ready for next week. We have been through this before, and we just need to bounce back and be ready to play against California."

The disappointing finish was echoed by Ostrander as well.

"It is the same story every week, we are just killing ourselves," Ostrander said. "There were missed opportunities, whether it is a dropped ball or a missed throw. It is inexcusable at this time in the season, and that is why it is so frustrating."

Ostrander, who was in the game after starting quarterback Tavita Pritchard sustained a concussion, finished 4-of-8 for 43 yards.

Notre Dame freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen opened the scoring with a two-yard run with 4:57 remaining in the first quarter. Notre Dame received great field position after safety Tom Zbikowski intercepted Pritchard and returned the ball to Stanford's 14.

Anthony Kimble scored on touchdown runs of one and 11 yards to give Stanford a 14-7 lead. The senior capped an eight-play, 69-yard drive to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Kimble then gave the Cardinal the lead with 2:54 remaining in the second quarter. His run capped a seven-play, 49-yard drive.

Travis Thomas leveled the score with a one-yard run with just 48 seconds before halftime.

Both teams routinely showed why they are having disappointing seasons.

After Zbikowski's 60-yard punt return put the Irish on the Stanford 31, Notre Dame ran three plays for minus-16 yards to set up a punt. Stanford's Kelton Lynn, however, ran into the punter to give Notre Dame a fresh set of downs.

On the next play, Clausen found David Grimes for what looked to be a 31-yard scoring strike. The officials reviewed the play and ruled that the ball hit the ground.

"I thought I had (the catch). The refs didn't," Grimes said. "I was running, and I was like, 'I got to turn it up.' I knew I couldn't just run under it so I just dove, and it wound up in my hand. I knew I had it."

Notre Dame had to settle for a field-goal attempt, but Brandon Walker missed the 44-yard kick.

Stanford then took the next possession and moved the ball inside the 10 yard line. Conservative offensive play calling - and a delay of game penalty - net Stanford a 30-yard field goal attempt by Derek Belch, who promptly booted it wide right.






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    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 26 3:49 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 0 7 21
    STANFORD 7 7 0 0 14 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, JIMMY CLAUSEN 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 10:03.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    STANFORD - TD, ANTHONY KIMBLE 1 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK), 13:24.
    NOTRE DAME 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: STANFORD - TD, ANTHO

    Nov 24 7:18 PM
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    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 7:13 PM
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    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 7:05 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ROBERT HUGHES 6 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 21
    STANFORD 14 6:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 7:04 PM
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  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 0 14
    STANFORD 7 7 0 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, JIMMY CLAUSEN 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 10:03.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    STANFORD - TD, ANTHONY KIMBLE 1 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK), 13:24.
    NOTRE DAME 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: STANFO

    Nov 24 6:25 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 14
    STANFORD 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, JIMMY CLAUSEN 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 10:03.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    STANFORD - TD, ANTHONY KIMBLE 1 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK), 13:24.
    NOTRE DAME 7-7
    2ND QUARTER: STANFORD - T

    Nov 24 5:17 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 14
    STANFORD 14 0:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 5:09 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD STANFORD
    ANTHONY KIMBLE 11 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 7
    STANFORD 14 2:54 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 4:58 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 7 7
    STANFORD 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, JIMMY CLAUSEN 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 10:03.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    STANFORD - TD, ANTHONY KIMBLE 1 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK), 13:24.
    NOTRE DAME 7-7

    Nov 24 4:22 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD STANFORD
    ANTHONY KIMBLE 1 YD RUN
    (DERRICK BELCH KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 7
    STANFORD 7 1:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 4:15 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    JIMMY CLAUSEN 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 7
    STANFORD 0 4:57 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame vs. StanfordNov 24 4:05 PM
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