Stanford Stunned By Notre Dame
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - Julius Jones quickly took the stress out of TyroneWillingham's return to Stanford, running for 106 yards in the first quarter ofNotre Dame's 57-7 victory over the Cardinal on Saturday night.
Jones finished with 218 yards and a touchdown, becoming the first FightingIrish player in school history to go over 200 yards three times in the sameseason. Ryan Grant ran for three touchdowns in Notre Dame's highest scoringoutput in nine years.
Brady Quinn threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Matt Shelton and a 45-yardstrike to Maurice Stovall - and Willingham enjoyed his first trip back to TheFarm since leaving to coach Notre Dame after the 2001 season.
Willingham greeted several of his old players on the field after the game.
The Irish (5-6) won their third straight and were sharp coming off their byeweek, which was no surprise considering they haven't lost the week after anopen date since Nov. 12, 1994, at Florida State.
Stanford (4-7) lost its final three games, but still improved over coachBuddy Teevens' 2-9 rookie season last year. The Cardinal were hoping to finishon a high note, but instead suffered their worst home loss ever.
A crowd of 46,500 witnessed the game - compared to the 80,795 who cameout last year for this matchup in Notre Dame Stadium.
Quentin Burrell recovered a fumble and returned it 65 yards for a TD andGarron Bible returned a fumble 44 yards for a score. Notre Dame hadn't beenthis productive since beating Navy 58-21 on Oct. 29, 1994.
Stanford quarterback Chris Lewis was under constant pressure thanks to aninspired defensive effort by Notre Dame, which had three sacks in the firstquarter and held the Cardinal to 9 yards in the opening period.
On the first play of the Cardinal's second series in the third quarter,Lewis hit Mark Bradford for a 65-yard score - but that was one of few brightspots for Stanford.
Lewis struggled with his timing all night, and he gave way to backup KyleMatter early in the fourth. Matter wasn't any better. Regular backup TrentEdwards was hospitalized all week after undergoing emergency surgery on hisleft thigh injured in last Saturday's loss to California.
Jones, coming off his career-best three-touchdown performance two weeks ago,broke two tackles on his 10-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.Jones had 74 yards in the Irish's 90-yard opening drive, the team's longest ofthe year.
Jones' 25-yard carry on the first play from scrimmage put him over the1,000-mark for the season. He is the eighth Notre Dame player to rush for 1,000yards in a season.
During the game, Stanford punter Eric Johnson set schoolsingle-season records for number of punts (86) and yardage (3,687).