Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 31, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 22 of 55 OCT. 31, 2016 23 BY MATT JONES D eShone Kizer let out a yell, threw his mouthpiece and fell to his knees. The Notre Dame junior quarterback couldn't bring his team back against Stanford, and his facial expression summed up another frus- trating, close loss for the Irish. The Cardinal scored all its points after halftime and rallied to beat the Irish 17-10 at Notre Dame Stadium, a defeat that moved head coach Brian Kelly's team to 2-5 this season. "This is a bitter pill to swallow, cer- tainly," Kelly said. The preseason top-10 Irish suffered yet another loss decided by seven points of less, more evidence of their inability to finish. "I love those kids in there," Kelly said. "They had great energy. They wanted to win. They did everything that they knew in terms of what they felt like they could do to win, and they just came up a little short again. "It's one of those things where you just — you've got to keep fighting, and we'll get out on the other end of it. It's a tough spot we're in right now, but they're committed. Coaches are committed, and we'll find a way. We'll get through this rough spot." The Irish had a 10-0 halftime lead, but self-destructed in the third quar- ter and trailed 17-10 when Kizer and the offense got the ball back with 3:44 remaining in the game. Kizer — who had been pulled in fa- vor of his backup, senior Malik Zaire — was reinserted into the game for the final series. He led Notre Dame 61 yards down to the 8-yard line before a nightmare three plays derailed the comeback attempt. He was sacked on second-and-four. He then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 12 seconds left, and on the final play of the game, was again pres- sured and tackled after a three-yard gain. His attempt to keep the play alive resulted in a fumble, but it didn't matter because the clock expired. Stanford held Notre Dame to 307 to- tal yards of offense and just 120 in the second half. The Irish finished with 153 rushing yards on 35 carries, while Kizer was 14-of-26 passing for 154 yards. He threw back-to-back inter- ceptions to begin the second half. "Defensively, we won the game," Stanford head coach David Shaw said. "[Defensive coordinator] Lance Anderson did a phenomenal job, the defensive coaching staff, getting turn- overs, standing up when we needed them to, pressuring the quarterback pretty much more so than we have outside of one other game this year." Notre Dame media relations did not make Kizer available for an interview after the game. Kizer's eight-yard touchdown run with 1:57 left in the first quarter gave Notre Dame a 7-0 lead. Sophomore kicker Justin Yoon added a field goal with 6:49 remaining in the half to ex- tend the margin to 10-0. Stanford was much improved in the second half. Sophomore corner- back Quenton Meeks returned the first Kizer interception 50 yards for a touch- down on the fourth play of the half to cut the lead to 10-7. On the following drive, Kizer drove Notre Dame to the Stanford 38 before throwing an inter- ception to fifth-year senior safety Dal- las Lloyd on fourth-and-seven. With 1:17 left in the third quarter, a punt by Stanford sophomore Jake Bailey pinned Notre Dame at its own 5-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Zaire couldn't handle a bad snap by junior center Sam Mustipher, which went through the end zone for a safety to make it 10-9 Notre Dame. Stanford took the lead with 10:38 left in the game when sophomore wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside recovered sophomore running back Bryce Love's goal-line fumble in the end zone, capping an 11-play, 67-yard drive. Bitter Pill Irish go scoreless after halftime in 17-10 loss to Stanford After rushing for a touchdown and helping Notre Dame to a 10-0 halftime lead, junior quarterback DeShone Kizer began the second half with two game-changing interceptions that resulted in a temporary benching in the 17-10 defeat. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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