Great Shane of Subway Domer video fame decided to sit down and simulate the 2012 Football Season on NCAA Football 2013. He took notes as he watched the Notre Dame games unfold. Dear god, he’s going to die at a young age…
On to Stanford:
Week 7 – Stanford vs. Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)
Coming off a refreshingly solid victory against the Hurricanes, Notre Dame now heads into Week 7 facing a visit from the other half of the Legends Trophy, the #4 ranked Stanford Cardinal. On paper alone this one appears to be another bloodbath. Notre Dame is accountable for having the worst total offense in the country at 280.0 yds/gm. Our rushing offense isn’t far behind as we only seem to manage around 72.8 yards a contest. Our saving grace remains our defense which is ranked 5th overall in total defense and still #1 in rushing defense. Turnover margins are on opposite ends of the spectrum as Stanford is at +6 whereas Notre Dame stands at -6 for the year. I would say were absolutely hopeless coming in but without Andrew Luck, and maybe with a little actual luck, something just tells me there may be a glimmer of “upset special” looming in our ranks.
Stanford wins the toss and elects to defer to the second half giving Notre Dame the ball to start the day. On the kickoff, George Atkinson III takes it up to the 26 where the Irish come out to start.
To start the game Cierre Wood takes the ball on a handoff and picks up 4. Golson decides to scramble on 2nd down and instead of sliding down, he gets hit hard and fumbles the ball which Stanford recovers. Off to a great start…
Stanford takes over at the 50 where Golson lost the ball. On 1st down, they hand off to the back who gains about 6 yards on the carry. Second down sees another hand off to the back who manages to pick up another 6 yards. On 1st down they Cardinal stick to their game plan and run another run play this time off a delay which picks up maybe 4 yards as Stephon Tuitt shuts it down. The same exact thing is attempted on 2nd down and it yields almost the exact same results for about 3 yards bringing up 3rd down with 3 to go. Inside the Notre Dame 30 with 3 yards to go, Stanford goes for yet another run play on 3rd down and Manti Te’o says “fuck that” and slams the back down for no gain bringing up 4th and 3. Stanford elects to kick a field goal and they hit it for 3 points. 3-0 Stanford.
Notre Dame takes the ensuing kickoff to around the 27 yard line.
On 1st down the Irish come out and try a handoff to TJ Jones which gets destroyed in the backfield for a loss of about 4. On 2nd down Golson finds Tyler Eifert on a crossing patter who manages to pick up about 13 before he gets taken down just shy of the marker bringing up 3rd and 1. On a crucial 3rd down, Golson runs an option play which he CLEARLY has an opportunity to pick up himself but for some stupid fucking reason he pitches it way back to Wood who can’t do jack shit with it and they lose 2 yards. Notre Dame is forced to punt. Stanford takes the punt from their own 15 (holy crap Ben Turk!) and bring it out to about their own 28 before getting taken down.
Stanford comes out on 1st down and they run play action with a short pass over the middle which Manti Te’o almost intercepts but is caught for a gain of 5 yards. 2nd down now and Stanford passes it to the tight end who gets about 10 yards on a slant. On 1st down again, they try a screen which crumbles and only gets about 2 yards. The back takes it again on 2nd and this time picks up about 15 yards for another Stanford 1st down. On 1st they try another screen and the back manages to get around 5 yards on the catch to bring up 2nd and 5 from the Notre Dame 37. On 2nd down they pass to the back who is wide open underneath and he takes it down to the Notre Dame 25 for a 1st down. On 1st again they run it and the back gains about 8 yards inside the Notre Dame red zone as the first quarter comes to an end still 3-0 Cardinal. On 2nd down they go for a little dump off pass and manage to get the yards they need to pick up the first getting down to the Notre Dame 14. On 1st they try to run and get stuffed for a 1 yard gain bringing up 2nd and 9. On 2nd down they try a play action rollout but Danny Spond smells the stink on their shit and takes the QB down before he can finish off his fake and gets the sack for a loss of 9 yards forcing a 3rd and 18. On 3rd and 18 we get a solid stop, BUT the defense jumps offside and they get another try with 3rd and 13 now. On the new 3rd down, of course, Stanford lines up to pass and without incident they manage to score on a simple toss over the middle that no one was defending. 10-0 Stanford following the PAT.
Atkinson III decides on the ensuing kickoff that he wants to bring the ball out for 5 yards deep in the end zone and subsequently gets hammered at the 19 yard line.
Notre Dame comes out now hopefully planning to do something productive. On 1st down they try a ridiculous option play that loses 2 yards. Then promptly on 2nd down Golson goes for Eifert deep and the before Eifert can go up and get it the ball gets intercepted by the defense. Greeeeeeat…
Stanford takes over comfortably at the Notre Dame 41 where on 1st down the try a HB sweep to the right which gets them about 5 yards, but the offense gets called for holding and they’re brought back to the Notre Dame 46. On 1st and 17 they try another run play but it gets sniffed out by Tuitt who takes the back down for a loss of 2 bringing up 2nd and 19. On 2nd down they run it again to the right and the back manages to gain about 6 yards before he’s taken down to bring up 3rd and 13. Another huge 3rd down and on this iteration Stanford does what any sensible offense would do against this defense and passes deep, which of course our cornerbacks can’t comprehend as they stand there and watch the Stanford receiver go up and get the ball in the end zone without contest for another Stanford touchdown. Un-fucking-believable. After the PAT its 17-0 Stanford.
The kickoff is brought out to the Notre Dame 28 as we go to work.
On 1st down we finally manage our first 1st down of the day as Robby Toma catches the ball for a gain of about 11 to the 49. On 1st again, Golson finds Goodman for a gain of about 9 again. On 2nd down the Irish try a screen pass but the blockers don’t do their job and Wood is taken down for a loss of 2 on the play to bring up 3rd and 3. When they need it most Notre Dame just doesn’t seem to take the game seriously as they try a sweep to the right on 3rd which gets snuffed out (like it has been all fucking game) and brings up 4th and 1. Notre Dame lines up to punt with a minute and a half left in the game…but Brian Kelly says fuck this shit as the punt is a fake and Ben Turk passes that shit to Austin Collinsworth who picks up the first down yardage!! I did NOT see that coming, WOO! Collinsworth takes that shit all the way down the Stanford 33 before he gets stopped.
On a new 1st down Golson drops back to pass and can’t find his receiver as it falls incomplete, so he tries again on 2nd down and this time finds TJ Jones over the middle who then claws forward for the 1st down with about a minute left to play in the half where Notre Dame takes a timeout. From the timeout Golson locates Ben Koyack past the marker and he takes the catch down to the Stanford 7 for a 1st and goal. With an opportunity here Golson drops back on 1st down and looks into traffic for Goodman, who performs a near-miraculous look-and-catch behind his right shoulder and gets down in bounds for the Notre Dame touchdown! Notre Dame hits the PAT for a 17-7 score now before halftime.
Stanford takes the kickoff to about the 21 yard line where they set up shop.
On 1st down Stanford can’t find an open man and tosses it out of bounds. On 2nd they find their man and they take it down to the Stanford 38. On 1st now Stanford looks downfield again and finds a receiver open for a gain of about 13 to the Notre Dame 49. They pick up another 13 yards on the next play and once again on the following play and before you can look its 1st down with 18 seconds left to play, the clock is stopped because they got out of bounds and they’re at the Notre Dame 9. Fuck. Just when things look dim Stanford tries a dump off pass which Spond sniffs out again and they’re forced to use their last time out as a result to line up for a field goal before the half ends. Stanford hits the 3 points and they take a 20-7 lead going into the break.
Stanford gets the ball to start the second half and on the kickoff the ball goes into the end zone for a touchback. Stanford comes out to the 25 to start the drive.
Stanford runs right for a gain of 6 on 1st down. On 2nd they try to pitch it to the back but Kapron Lewis Moore don’t give a fuuuuck and slams the back down in the backfield for a loss of 5 bringing up 3rd and 9. On 3rd down Stanford passes to the tight end and he breaks a tackle by Josh Atkinson getting the first down at the Stanford 37. On 1st down the QB gets pressured and he’s forced to throw the ball away. On 2nd down they try to hand off to the back but Manti Te’o is there to stop that before it gets started, taking him down for a loss of 1 to bring up 3rd and 11. On an important 3rd down Louis Nix III gets pressure on the QB and hits him as he throws causing the ball to sail just past a receiver’s hands and fall incomplete to the dirt. Stanford will have to punt. Riddick takes the punt to the Notre Dame 34.
Back on offense now, Notre Dame gets started by completing a pass to Goodman down to the Notre Dame 46 for a 1st down. Golson lines up in the gun and hands off to Cierre Wood on a delay which picks up 3 on 1st down. Golson audibles into the same play again on 2nd and this time it picks up about 6 bringing up 3rd and 1 from the Stanford 45. On 3rd down Golson rolls out and finds Robby Toma who takes the catch all the way down to the Stanford 9 yard line for a 1st and goal. Golson plays it smart on 1st and hands it off to Cierre Wood, who manages to truck his way through defenders and into the end zone for a Notre Dame touchdown! Notre Dame is within reach following the PAT as its 20-14 now.
The ensuing kickoff is taken down in the end zone for a touchback and they’ll start at the 25.
With the offense kicking it a bit, the Irish defense is now juiced and Stanford gets to reap the benefits as they try to run the ball on 1st down and get demolished by Manti Te’o for a loss of 2. They run it again on 2nd and pick up about 7 yards to bring up 3rd and 5. On 3rd down Notre Dame drops into a dime package and shuts down any passing lanes as Stanford tries to find a man open underneath but he gets pushed out of bounds before he can get the 1st down bringing up 4th and 3. Stanford once again must punt the ball…here comes our opportunity… Riddick takes the punt to the Notre Dame 39.
On 1st down the Irish try to run the ball and go nowhere for a loss of 1, bringing up 2nd and 11. On 2nd down Golson scrambles for a gain of about 3 and it’s now 3rd and 8 just like that. On 3rd down Golson drops back to pas and looks for man open, finally finding one in Tyler Eifert who takes the ball down to the Stanford 42 for the 1st down. On 1st this time they try a screen underneath to Goodman but he gets taken down quickly for a loss of 2 on the play. On 2nd and 12 now Golson finds TJ Jones underneath for another short gain of maybe 3 yards bringing up 3rd and 9 for the offense. With a key opportunity, the Irish line up on 3rd down and Golson goes deep to Davonte Neal who goes up to get it but can’t hang on as he’s hit hard during the catch and it falls incomplete. This brings up 4th and 9 from the Stanford 45 and the Irish elect to punt…or at least that’s what I thought. Notre Dame fakes yet another punt but this time they fake it to the back and he tries to run that shit himself which goes fucking NOWHERE and the Irish turn it over on downs at the Stanford 46.
Stanford comes out on 1st down now and they throw over the middle which picks up 5 yards just as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. The score is still 20-14 Stanford.
To start the 4th quarter Stanford throws on 2nd down and Manti Te’o stops the receiver short to bring up 3rd and 2. On 3rd down they complete a pass easily and the receiver takes it down to the Notre Dame 32 for the 1st down. The Irish defense is not intimidated though, and they show it on first down by blitzing the fuck out of the Stanford QB and sacking him to all holy hell for a loss of 9 to bring up 2nd and 19 from the Notre Dame 41. On 2nd down they try to pass and it almost gets intercepted by Dan Fox, whose flying high after having just sacked the QB on the previous play. The pass falls incomplete and it brings up 3rd and 19. The defense has apparently decided it’s time for us to take this one into our own hands and on 3rd down the QB drops back and looks up to see Louis Nix in his grill ready to attack. The QB somehow breaks the tackle by Nix but not in time to avoid a blitzing Zeke Motta who takes him down at the Stanford 45 to bring up 4th and fucking forever, where they are forced to punt. Riddick takes the punt to the Notre Dame 20 where they will try to mount the troops for a comeback.
Here we go. Notre Dame ball on their own 20; 1st down. On 1st down Golson finds Ben Koyack near the sideline who manages to picks up 8 yards and get shoved out of bounds. On 2nd and 2 Golson audibles out of a run play and it seems to confuse the defense as Golson manages to find Eifert wide open and he takes the pass down to the 41 for a 1st down. On 1st now, Golson finds TJ Jones over the middle for a gain of 15 yards down to the Stanford 44. On 1st down again Golson tries to scramble but it doesn’t do anything and Golson is hit in the backfield for a loss of one to bring up 2nd and 11. Golson tries to find Eifert on 2nd down but can’t connect and it falls incomplete. This brings up a do-or-die 3rd down.
On the crucial 3rd down play Golson lines the guys up in a 5 wide set and fakes the run just long enough to freeze the defense for a moment, which works perfectly according to his plan as he launches the ball down field and finds a WIDE OPEN Robby Toma who walks the ball into the end zone for a Notre dame touchdown! OMG we still might do this!! The PAT is up and good and Notre Dame takes a 21-20 lead with 2:37 left in this game. COME ON DEFENSE!!!!!
Stanford takes the kickoff down to the 28 where they’ll go to work. Holy fuck…
On 1st down The QB drops back to pass and Louis Nix gets insane pressure on the QB forcing him to hit his back on what was supposed to be a screen but instead ends up being a diving catch for a loss of 5 yards, which brings up 2nd and 15. On 2nd down they find the tight end for a pickup of 6 bringing up 3rd and 9. On the most important 3rd down of the game, Stanford has to pass and when doing so the QB drops back, but his O-Line forgot to do their job and protect him and Louis Nix gets the most insane step inside straight for the QB and absolutely WRECKS this dude for a loss of 11 and the sack to bring up 4th and 20 from their own 13. Stanford has no choice but to go for it, so we’re not out of the woods yet. This territory has let us down before…
On 4th and 20 Stanford lines up, the QB drops back to pass having actually gotten some protection this time and he launches a pass towards what looks like the exact location of the 1st down marker…but his pass is slightly off target and the receiver can’t get the first as the catch falls short and he stumbles out of bounds at the 36. Notre Dame gets the ball on downs!!!! WOOOOOOO!!
Now you might think this is over, but not quite. Stanford still has all their timeouts and we need to at least get a field goal for some peace of mind here. So Notre Dame takes over at the Stanford 36…
On 1st down the Irish come out playing it safe and they hand off to Cierre Wood, who does exactly what he needs to and picks up about 8 yards forcing Stanford to use their first timeout. On 2nd and 2 we hand it off again and Wood busts this one up the gut and breaks into the secondary down to the Stanford 15 putting us well within field goal range and getting another 1st down while Stanford burns another timeout. On 1st down Golson hands off to Wood on a draw and he gets about 3 yards before he’s taken down and Stanford has to use their final time out with 1:08 left in the game. On 2nd and 7 we hand off to Wood again and he manages to get about 6 9/10 yards before being brought down just shy of the marker to bring up 3rd and inches. Time ticks down to about :20 seconds when the Irish finally snap the ball and when they do so they hand off to Wood who not only gets his inches, he fucking SCORES to put this one more out of reach. The Irish go up 28-20 with :19 seconds left to play. Stanford takes the kickoff to the 28.
Stanford comes out throwing on 1st and the QB gets hit as he throws and it falls incomplete. On 2nd down they try to go underneath and Manti Te’o is there to stop the play shot of the 1st down marker and time dwindles away down to :02 left when they spike the ball on 3rd down. On 4th down they decide to go deep and actually complete a pass down to the Irish 30 but the receiver is tackled as time expires and the game is OVER!! WE WON!! WOOOHOOO!
Surprised? I sure as fuck am. I started this game suspecting something was going to give and BOOM it totally fucking did! Stanford suffers its first loss of the season and Notre Dame has some bragging rights once again. This game was definitely a shitty one at the start as our offense couldn’t stop making retarded decisions but in the end everyone came together and mounted kickass comeback to chalk this one up in the win column. The game ball has to go to the Notre Dame defense as they were fucking killer all game. At least we know we have it in us still right?? How about Ben Turk and Austin Collinsworth on that pass and catch? Ridiculous (probably never EVER going to happen). I’d say this is a perfect way to take some epic confidence into the BYU game. Bring on the Mormons!
Golson: 16/20, 207 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 80% Completion, 1 sack
Toma: 3 Recs, 95 yds, 1 TD
Wood: 13 Carries, 55 yds, 2 TDs