September 25, 2010

Quick Reads: Stanford-Notre Dame (2010)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Coby Fleener #...
Fleener and Marecic both had big games. (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

As per custom, we give you some thoughts and impressions immediately after each Stanford football game. Here’s the brief recap of Stanford’s 37-14 win against Notre Dame in South Bend:

  • Notre Dame’s ILB Manti Te’o indeed played a huge part in the game (career-high 21 tackles), but it didn’t really matter. The Irish defense performed fairly well in the first half–Notre Dame trailed by a manageable 10 points at halftime–but they simply wore down in the game’s final 30 minutes.
  • The potentially serious leg injury to Stanford safety Michael Thomas might deal a huge blow to the Card secondary. In next week’s Oregon game, Stanford will need as many defensive playmakers as possible, and losing the starting free safety will give the Ducks more opportunities to move the ball throw the air.
  • Stepfan Taylor finally had the number of opportunities and the kind of game that we knew he was capable of. The sophomore halfback ran for 108 yards on 28 carries, though his longest run was just 9 yards and he averaged fewer than 4 yards per carry. Taylor will almost certainly be the feature back from this point forward, especially considering that no other Stanford back picked up more rushing yards than Andrew Luck in this afternoon’s matchup.
  • Owen Marecic has come into his own as an elite college football player and NFL prospect. Marecic scored 2 touchdowns in 13 seconds today, and one of those touchdowns was an interception return. That’s right: 1 offensive touchdown and 1 defensive touchdown by the same player in under a quarter of a minute. No Stanford player has scored a touchdown on both sides of the ball in one game since 1902, and we’re betting that that man did not score both within 13 seconds of each other. We’re talking Reggie Miller-level scoring.

  • Stanford was a spectacular 11-16 on 3rd down conversions, while the Fighting Irish only converted 4 of their 13 3rd down tries.
  • Andrew Luck continues to get wins even without stellar passing statistics. Luck went 19-32 for 238 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions (both were from tipped passes, so they weren’t totally Andrew’s fault). Though we’ve said it before, reiteration feels entirely appropriate: Luck is an elite leader and field general who emerges victorious even on off-days.
  • Notre Dame won’t make a bowl this season.
  • Brian Kelly will eventually succeed in South Bend, but it will take several years for his strategy to become evident. This coach is a definite step up from Charlie Weis, Irish fans. Hang in there.
  • No Cardinal receiver picked up more than 60 yards. Senior tight end Coby Fleener led the Card with 57 yards and a touchdown on 4 catches, while junior wideout Chris Owusu caught only 2 passes for 23 yards.
  • Senior placekicker Nate Whitaker returned to form and went a perfect 5 for 5 on field goals, although his longest kick was 41 yards.

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The Daily Axe Staff
The Daily Axe is an independent Stanford sports website covering Cardinal athletics year-round. Find The Daily Axe on and on social media via the links below.


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