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Improving Clausen, Notre Dame hold off Stanford

Oct 5, 2008 - 12:42 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- As he approaches the midway point of his sophomore season, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen finally seems to be living up to the hype that was attached him to as one of the nation's most-heavily recruited players two years ago.

Clausen threw three touchdowns for the second straight game and surpassed 300 passing yards for the first time Saturday, leading Notre Dame to a 28-21 victory over Stanford.

Clausen was on target throughout, completing 29-of-40 passes for a career-high 347 yards. He also got help from Notre Dame's defense, which had three interceptions in a game for the first time since 2004.

"I'm progressing each and every game," Clausen said. "In practice, I'm just trying to get better each and every day and I think it's showing."

Clausen and the Fighting Irish made Stanford offensive lineman Chris Marinelli eat his words. Earlier in the week. Marinelli spoke of his dislike for Notre Dame (4-1), though he later apologized for his comments.

Still, Notre Dame seemed to let up after Clausen's 16-yard TD pass to freshman tight end Kyle Rudolph made it 28-7 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

"Stanford had a great comeback and it came right down to the end of the game," Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said. "We had a chance to put them away and we didn't do it."

Tavita Pritchard threw a pair of touchdowns in the fourth period for Stanford (3-3), but Doug Baldwin made a critical mistake for the Cardinal, fielding a punt inside his 5-yard line with 3:23 remaining.

Stanford took over at its 2-yard line, but could not pick up a first down and turned the ball over on downs, enabling Notre Dame to run all but the final eight seconds off the clock.

"I didn't play well enough in the first half," Pritchard said. "I let my teammates down in that regard. I have to come out and play better early on."

Pritchard completed 10 of his final 11 passes for 182 yards after starting 8-of-17 for 76 yards.

"We still have to play a solid 60 minutes," Weis said. "We played a real solid first half and let them back in the game."

Safety Kyle McCarthy spearheaded Notre Dame's defensive effort with 14 tackles and an interception.

"The biggest motivating factor this season was just getting our respect back," said McCarthy, alluding to last year's 3-9 disaster. "Last season, a lot of people and teams lost respect for us. We knew that, and in the offseason we worked hard in order to get it back.

"We're Notre Dame, so people either love us or hate us and it's hard to earn back that respect, but I think we are getting it week by week."

Stanford drove into Notre Dame territory on its first two possessions, but came away empty as Pritchard was picked off each time.

After Clausen's 21-yard TD pass to Armando Allen gave Notre Dame a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter, the Cardinal answered with a 95-yard drive that consumed seven minutes. They tied it on Toby Gerhart's 1-yard TD run with 11 minutes left in the first half.

But Allen scored on a 3-yard run and Clausen hit freshman Michael Floyd with a 48-yard TD strike, giving the Irish a 21-7 halftime lead.

"I was just trying to get our guys in position to make plays and score touchdowns," Clausen said.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh spent most of the first half feuding with the officials. He was especially upset with an interference call against the Cardinal on a punt return with five minutes remaining in the first half.

Allen signaled a fair catch, but Stanford's Nate Wilcox-Fogel got in the way. After Allen fumbled, Stanford's Will Powers scooped up the ball and would have an easy touchdown.

Wilcox-Fogel was called for interference, but Harbaugh was furious, thinking that Wilcox-Fogel was blocked into Allen by a Notre Dame player.

It turned out to be a big momentum swing as just three plays later, Clausen's TD pass to Floyd gave the Irish a 21-7 lead.

"(Clausen's) vastly improved over last year," Stanford safety Bo McNally said. "Last year he seemed like raw talent, but this year he seems to be put together really well. He was doing a lot of good things back there."

Floyd finished with five receptions for 115 yards for the Irish and Allen caught five passes for 66 yards.






  • EDog go IRISH

    Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28  FinalOct 4 6:09 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    STANFORD 0 7 0 14 21
    NOTRE DAME 7 14 7 0 28 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ARMANDO ALLEN 21 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN (BRANDON WALKER
    KICK), 7:04. NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: STANFORD - TD, TOBY GERHART 1 YD RUN (AARON
    ZAGORY KICK), 4:09. STANFORD
    7-7
    NOTRE DA

    Oct 4 6:08 PM
  • 56
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 24 roots (Close Finish)

    Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28  4th - 3:34Oct 4 5:55 PM
  • 32
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28  4th - 6:00Oct 4 5:53 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD STANFORD
    DOUG BALDWIN 10 YD PASS FROM TAVITA PRITCHARD
    (AARON ZAGORY KICK)
    STANFORD 21
    NOTRE DAME 28 6:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28  4th - 6:00Oct 4 5:44 PM
  • 27
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    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28  4th - 6:00Oct 4 5:44 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD STANFORD
    JIM DRAY 1 YD PASS FROM TAVITA PRITCHARD
    (AARON ZAGORY KICK)
    STANFORD 14
    NOTRE DAME 28 10:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Stanford 14, Notre Dame 28  4th - 10:06Oct 4 5:34 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    STANFORD 0 7 0 7
    NOTRE DAME 7 14 7 28 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ARMANDO ALLEN 21 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN (BRANDON WALKER
    KICK), 7:04. NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: STANFORD - TD, TOBY GERHART 1 YD RUN (AARON
    ZAGORY KICK), 4:09. STANFO

    Oct 4 5:18 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    KYLE RUDOLPH 17 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    STANFORD 7
    NOTRE DAME 28 4:30 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Stanford 7, Notre Dame 28  3rd - 4:30Oct 4 5:08 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    STANFORD 0 7 7
    NOTRE DAME 7 14 21 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ARMANDO ALLEN 21 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN (BRANDON WALKER
    KICK), 7:04. NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: STANFORD - TD, TOBY GERHART 1 YD RUN (AARON
    ZAGORY KICK), 4:09. STANFORD
    7-7


    Oct 4 4:18 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    MICHAEL FLOYD 48 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    STANFORD 7
    NOTRE DAME 21 3:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Stanford 7, Notre Dame 21  2nd - 3:40Oct 4 4:01 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ARMANDO ALLEN 4 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    STANFORD 7
    NOTRE DAME 14 6:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Stanford 7, Notre Dame 14  2nd - 6:12Oct 4 3:51 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD STANFORD
    TOBY GERHART 1 YD RUN
    (AARON ZAGORY KICK)
    STANFORD 7
    NOTRE DAME 7 10:51 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Stanford 7, Notre Dame 7  2nd - 10:51Oct 4 3:36 PM


  • NCAAF
    STANFORD 0
    NOTRE DAME 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Oct 4 3:23 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ARMANDO ALLEN 21 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    STANFORD 0
    NOTRE DAME 7 7:56 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Stanford 0, Notre Dame 7  1st - 7:56Oct 4 3:05 PM
  • 5
    roots
    oliveoil5872 Added 5 roots

    Stanford 0, Notre Dame 0  1st - 12:59Oct 4 2:54 PM