Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Saturday, October 7

ND Gets The Win

Notre Dame reached its season midpoint one game shy of perfection, six games shy of dominance. Still, the Irish are 5-1 and looking to edge their way back into the top 10 in the aftermath of today’s lopsided victory over winless Stanford.

They rolled despite the absence of senior safety Tom Zbikowski, who didn’t play after suffering a slight injury during last week’s victory over Purdue. He did dress and likely could have played if Notre Dame had needed him.

It didn’t.

Notre Dame couldn’t have scripted its first drive any better, which is good because it did script it, courtesy of coach Charlie Weis. The Irish went 91 yards in 17 plays, using up half the quarter, to take a 7-0 lead.

Life got tougher after that until the final seconds of the first half, when quarterback Brady Quinn hit Rhema McKnight for a 15-yard touchdown pass.

Stanford, meanwhile, dropped a touchdown pass and another key third-down pass. It managed only a first-half field goal and trailed 14-3.

Credit Notre Dame’s defense for some of that. The Cardinal gained 82 yards in its first drive -- minus-two for the rest of the first half.

Then the Irish flexed their second-half muscles, in part because tailback Darius Walker flexed his (doesn’t he always against Stanford). He went over 100 yards for the second straight game -- over 150 yards for the second straight time against the Cardinal -- as Notre Dame powered its way to its third straight victory (we won’t mention the fourth-quarter brain-dead moment that allowed Stanford to score on tailback Anthony Kimble’s 57-yard trick-play touchdown pass).


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