Eye in the Sky: 4th Quarter

Our final look at Notre Dame's offensive effort Saturday vs. Stanford.

Stanford 19 ND 6

Key Personnel: LT Zack Martin; LG Chris Stewart; C Braxston Cave; RG Trevor Robinson; RT Taylor Dever; TE Kyle Rudolph who was later joined by Mike Ragone; TB Armando Allen who was spelled early by what I thought was an already injured Jonas Gray. Robert Hughes entered in mop-up duty; WRs Michael Floyd, Tai-ler Jones, and Theo Riddick were joined later by John Goodman. QB Dayne Crist.

4th Quarter Running Game Notes

Armando Allen returned on the third play of the quarter top pick up 9 yards on a 2nd and 10 draw up the gut…Two plays later, in a call reminiscent of a not-yet-expunged era, Notre Dame is absolutely hammered up front on a 4th and 1 handoff at midfield. Crist's under center handoff to Jonas Gray loses a yard and the contest begins a downward spiral with the Irish trailing 19-6 with 13:35 remaining. Kyle Rudolph completely failed to block OLB Chase Thomas. It was the final meaningful run of the contest.

4th Quarter Passing Game Notes

Tremendous catch by Floyd to open the quarter, going up high to stab a 20-yard dig-route from Crist at the Irish 40-yard line…Crist then misses high and out of bounds to Theo Riddick thanks to backside pressure by DE Matt Masifilo, who beat Dever 1-on-1 around the edge; poor effort by Dever who has generally played well over four contests…two plays later, Crist throws intentionally out of bounds incomplete to Rudolph on 3rd and 1. Rudolph was open on his initial arrow route to the right, as was Michael Floyd for an easy first down as Crist rolled right away from pressure. Floyd was directly in Crist's path but the quarterback simply did not see him sitting at the marker. Crist felt phantom pressure on this particular play…

Trailing 27-6 with 7:58 remaining, the game effectively ends when Dayne Crist's pass is intercepted by MLB Owen Marecic for a touchdown. 34-6…ball game. (Marecic scored on the previous play as Stanford's fullback. He fittingly kept the football despite the efforts of Notre Dame staff on the Cardinal sideline.) Crist was drilled on the throw on a stunt by LDE Matt Masifilo, who looped from his down position through the middle. Armando Allen was also cast aside in pass protection by Chase Thomas.

Mop-up Duty/Miscellaneous Notes

Goodman gained 20, 10 after the catch on a sideline hitch; one bright spot was the junior's emergence as he could provide a compliment to Tai-ler Jones as the third wideout…Riddick showed courage and concentration on a 22-yard in-route on the following play, absorbing a big hit from Delano Howell and popping up without hesitation…Crist and Rudolph suffered a miscommunication on a seam route, though it appeared Crist should have never thrown the pass into obvious double coverage…

Former Irish verbal commit Blake Lueders was credited with a tackle on Allen for a two-yard loss, late, though Lueders barely touched him on a spin move…The Irish should consider more one-on-one tosses deep to Floyd, who pulled a 2009 with a leaping grab at the five-yard line vs. a 5'11" cornerback…Riddick ends the end zone drought with a 3-yard touchdown grab on a fake-out and post (nice route by the sophomore)…Allen finishes the drive with a two-point conversion run from the Leprechaun formation; nice cutback and vision by Allen who had initially sprinted left, but scored inside.

Robert Hughes makes his first appearance of the contest and gains 37 yards on a screen pass. He now has the six longest plays from scrimmage by any Irish running back over the last 37 games…Several painful plays (and two John Goodman receptions) later, the Irish fail to score at the gun when Dayne Crist's fade pass to Goodman falls incomplete, out of the receiver's grasp.

A terrible offensive performance by the Irish who were mentally and physically manhandled by the Cardinal under the guidance of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The defense played hard and potentially well enough to win but wore down as the Irish offense continued to sputter.

Final Score: Stanford 37 Notre Dame 14

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