SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Stanford has always started slowly this season. On Saturday, for the first time, its finish was even worse.
No. 8 Notre Dame dominated the seventh-ranked Cardinal on both sides of the ball, cruising to a 38-17 win at Notre Dame Stadium.
Stanford (4-1) didn’t just lose its first game – it also may have lost its star running back again. Bryce Love limped to the locker room in the fourth quarter and didn’t return after defensive lineman Julian Love rolled over his left ankle while tackling him.
Stanford’s offense went three plays or fewer nine times in 13 drives and gained just 229 total yards, while Notre Dame (5-0) totaled 550. Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book – making his third career start – went 24 of 33 for 278 yards and four TDs.
Love finished with 73 yards on 17 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He missed the team’s third game, against UC Davis, with an undisclosed injury.
Stanford trailed after the first quarter for the fourth time this season, but JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who entered the weekend second in the FBS with seven touchdown catches, caught a jump ball early in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14.
Stanford trailed by just seven early in the fourth quarter when, on three consecutive plays from scrimmage, Notre Dame scored a touchdown, the Cardinal threw an interception, and Notre Dame scored a touchdown to seal the outcome.
After consecutive road games against the Fighting Irish and No. 19 Oregon, Stanford returns home to face Utah this Saturday.