After four straight victories, the loss to the Cardinal is a hard one to take.
Question One: Can the Irish offensive line protect Tommy Rees?
Answer One: Not on this night… The Irish offensive line went from strength to a major weakness against Stanford. The Cardinal defense recorded five sacks on the night and forced offensive linemen into five false start penalties. Things started bad from the outset as Chase Thomas knocked Rees out on the Irish first drive on the first offensive play from scrimmage. In the end Kelly looked to Andrew Hendrix and the sophomore gave the Irish hope. Has Rees taken his last snap as a starter this season?
Question Two: Can the Irish defense put pressure on Andrew Luck?
Answer Two: No! The Irish recorded no sacks and one quarterback hurry. The future top NFL Draft pick was able to pick apart the Irish, going 20 of 30 for 233 yards and four touchdowns. The Irish did have one interception and came close a couple of other times.
Question Three: Is Stanford as good as advertised?
Answer Three: In the first half they were. Notre Dame looked like a Mid American Conference team for the first half of the game. However, before it was over, the Irish looked strong on defense and showed the promise many felt would help them earn a victory over the highly-ranked Cardinal.
Question Four: How much of a loss will Jonas Gray prove to be for the Irish?
Answer Four: HUGE!!!! Gray proved to be the soul of the Irish offense with his hard running. Saturday night's poor running performance allowed Stanford to key on doing one thing and it did it well all night long. The Irish did gain 121 total yards. However, they lost 64 yards as Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick, Rees, and Hendrix all loss yards on the night.
Question Five: Will Notre Dame keep their November winning streak going?
Answer Five: No! The streak is over as is Kelly's success in November. Now, the Irish must regroup as they likely will be heading to the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando, Fla.