Oct. 4, 1997
Stanford Runs All Over Irish, 33-15
Anthony Bookman sets up his fourth-quarter touchdown.
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Mike Mitchell and Anthony Bookman combined for 277 rushing yards
and four touchdowns as 21st-ranked Stanford kept Notre Dame
reeling with a 33-15 victory.
Bookman put the game away with fourth-quarter scoring runs of 58
and five yards for the Cardinal (4-1), who led 17-9 heading into
the final 15 minutes. Stanford added a late safety and wore down
the Fighting Irish front line by pounding the ball on the
Mitchell finished with 135 yards and two touchdowns on 29
carries while Bookman added 142 on 14 rushes. Chad Hutchinson
completed 26-of-38 passes for 192 yards as Stanford won its
third straight game. The Cardinal have scored 91 points in
their last two games.
"We were able to do so many things on offense, and it makes it
hard on the defense to cover all the things," said Hutchinson.
Just beating Notre Dame by any margin is a feat. They're a
good team. As coach said, their record isn't indicative of how
Notre Dame fell to 1-4 under first-year coach Bob Davie and has
started a season with four losses in five games for the first
time since 1986, which was Lou Holtz's first year. The Fighting
Irish have lost four straight games, their longest losing streak
since a five-game skid under Hugh Devore in 1963.
"I'm not sure what it's going to take to straighten us out,"
admitted Fighting Irish quarterback Ron Powlus. "In tough
situations, you have to crank it up and commit to Notre Dame
football. I'm upset and mad, but I'm not going to quit and
that's how most of the guys feel."
Stanford still trails the all-time series, 8-4, and it was just
the second time in the last seven meetings that the home team
Notre Dame took a 3-0 lead on a 45-yard field goal by Jim Sanson
with 3:45 left in the first quarter, but the Cardinal answered
as Mitchell dashed in from 15 yards with four seconds to go.
The Fighting Irish took a 9-7 lead as Ron Powlus rolled to his
right and found tight end Jabari Holloway in the end zone from
11 yards for the score.
Stanford regrouped and took a 10-9 lead with 18 seconds to play
in the first half on a 37-yard field goal by Miller. The
Cardinal had a chance to make it 13-9 after recovering a fumble
by Powlus on the first play, but Miller missed a 47-yarder right
before the half ended.
Stanford extended its lead to 17-9 with 1:13 left in the third
quarter as Mitchell bulled in from three yards. After a
three-and-out by the Irish, Bookman found a crease off right
tackle and raced 58 yards to bump the margin to 24-9 with 13:42
Notre Dame answered with a six-play, 76-yard drive as Powlus
hooked up with Bobby Brown on a 27-yard catch-and-run score that
made it 24-15 with 10:57 to go. But the Cardinal ended any
chance of a Notre Dame comeback by scoring on its next
possession. Stanford kept the drive alive by converting a
4th-and-2 on the Notre Dame 30, and Bookman slashed in from five
yards to make it 31-15 with 3:15 left.
"They did some things you don't need words to describe," said
Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham in praise of his offensive
line. "For three consecutive weeks, we've had guys go over 100
yards. That's the work of the offensive line."
Defensive end Kailee Wong sacked Powlus in the end zone on the
ensuing possession for Stanford's final points.
Powlus completed 13-of-21 passes for 177 yards and a pair of
scores while Autry Denson added 116 rushing yards on 21
attempts. Brown hauled in five passes for 88 yards.
"The third quarter killed us," said Powlus. "We haven't
scored in the third quarter all year. I feel that we let the
defense down in the third."