College Football: Stanford 28, Notre Dame 14
STANFORD, Calif. ó Andrew Luck set the school record for the most career touchdown passes and eclipsed his own single-season mark, throwing for 233 yards and four scores to lead fourth-ranked Stanford past No. 22 Notre Dame 28-14 in his home finale Saturda.
Luck topped John Elway’s record of 77 touchdown passes and helped the Cardinal (11-1) build a 21-0 halftime lead. He has thrown for 80 touchdowns in three years and 35 this season.
Tommy Rees threw an interception, lost a fumble and took a bruising blow to the ribs for Notre Dame (8-4) before getting benched. Andrew Hendrix threw for 192 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a second-half rally for the Fighting Irish that came up short.
It wasn’t the prettiest performance of Luck’s brilliant college career.
Still, he earned a rare place in Stanford history.
The victory likely vaulted Stanford into an at-large BCS bowl bid for the second straight year ó with the Fiesta Bowl among the leading possible destinations ó but the program will not play for a major championship this season. The lone loss to Oregon put the Ducks in the Pac-12 title game out of the North Division and crushed the Cardinal’s dreams of a national title.
Only another weekend of chaos at the top would’ve reversed course.
Stanford coach David Shaw shined the spotlight on his team and his quarterback’s Heisman Trophy campaign with a calculated rip of the “flawed” BCS system this week. The Cardinal’s play matched his words for 30 minutes.
For a whileit looked like a sloppy second half just might undo everything Stanford had worked for.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly benched Rees in favor of Hendrix to start the third quarter, and the move pumped some life into a stagnant Irish offense.
Notre Dame took advantage of pass interference and roughing the passer penalties for its first score. Hendrix threw a 6-yard TD to Michael Floyd to slice Stanford’s lead to 21-7 halfway through the third quarter. Floyd finished with 94 catches on the year, breaking the single-season mark of 93 set by Golden Tate in 2009.