Published October 04, 2014
South Bend, IN – South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Everett Golson struggled with the cold, wet elements at Notre Dame Stadium for 57 minutes.
But not the final three.
Golson tossed a go-ahead 23-yard touchdown pass to Ben Koyack on fourth down with 61 seconds remaining and No. 9 Notre Dame beat No. 14 Stanford 17-14 on Saturday.
Golson, who set a Notre Dame (5-0) record with 25 straight completions during a 31-15 win over Syracuse last Saturday, wasn't as accurate in this one.
He skipped throws, overthrew some open receivers and threw behind targets, finishing 20-of-43 for 241 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a lost fumble.
Despite all that, Golson still found a way to drive the Fighting Irish down the field for the winning score to help Notre Dame go 5-0 for just the third time in the last 21 seasons.
The deciding Irish touchdown came after Remound Wright's 11-yard touchdown scamper gave Stanford a 14-10 lead with 3:01 left.
Golson hit William Fuller for an 11-yard completion and then fired a 17-yard pass to Corey Robinson on a 3rd-and-10 to put the ball at the Stanford 37. Golson then underthrew Fuller, who broke free behind the secondary and in the end zone, but Stanford was called for pass interference.
Faced with a 3rd-and-7, Golson lost four yards after running into one of his offensive linemen on a quarterback draw to set up a 4th-and-11. Koyack, though, was left unaccounted for in the back left corner of the end zone and Golson found him right before safety Jordan Richards got there. Koyack was able to get his feet down to put Notre Dame in front.
"Everett certainly is a guy that never quits, just keeps playing and made a great throw in the corner of the end zone to win the football game," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said.
Stanford (3-2) drove to the Notre Dame 49, but Kevin Hogan was called for intentional grounding on the final play of the game.
The Irish were able to overcome two turnovers and a pair of bobbled field- goal snaps by holding Stanford to 205 total yards and forcing nine three- and-outs on 15 possessions.
Notre Dame's offense, meanwhile, totaled 370 yards against the nation's top defense.
Chris Brown caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, Cam McDaniel carried the ball 15 times for 41 yards and Golson added 34 yards on seven carries in the win.
Hogan was 18-of-36 for 158 yards with two interceptions and Devon Cajuste caught five passes for 68 yards for Stanford, which hasn't recorded two losses this early in a season since 2008.
"Losing is losing, and when you're in sports, you win and you lose. We've won more than we lost but every single loss hurts," Cardinal head coach David Shaw said.
Turnovers on back-to-back plays led to the game's first score.
Right after Cole Luke intercepted Hogan on 3rd-and-12 at the Irish 43, Golson took off on a quarterback keeper along the right edge. Ronnie Harris put a big hit on him to pry the ball loose and Kyle Olugbode recovered the ball at the Notre Dame 12.
Hogan's 10-yard TD run up the middle at the 3:50 mark of the opening frame staked Stanford to a 7-0 lead.
Golson broke off a 33-yard run on a 3rd-and-10 before Brown hauled in a crossing route and walked in for a 17-yard score to cap a 6-play, 62-yard drive to tie the game late in the first half.
The third time was a charm for holder Hunter Smith after he bobbled two prior snaps on field-goal attempts. He put on a pair of gloves and Kyle Brindza split the uprights from 45 yards out midway through the fourth to give the Irish a 10-7 lead.
After Ty Montgomery returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards, Hogan tossed a 23- yard completion to Cajuste on a 3rd-and-8 and Wright darted up the middle for a 14-10 Stanford cushion three plays later.
Notre Dame hasn't allowed a point in the third quarter this season ... The Irish have won 16 of their last 17 games at home ... Stanford was 5-of-16 on third down, while Notre Dame finished 6-of-18.