During a wet and sometimes wild first half, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson proved to be the difference in the game for all the wrong reasons.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are tied 7-7 with the Stanford Cardinal after two quarters of play. Both team left points on the field due to mistakes.
Golson, in particular, had a profound effect on the score. After four turnovers last week against the Syracuse Orange, the Fighting Irish quarterback already turned the ball over twice. The first was a fumble on a designed run at Notre Dame’s 12-yard line. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan capitalized on the fantastic field position with a 10-yard draw into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.
At the start of the second quarter, the Fighting Irish were finally driving on offense, but Golson was intercepted at the 1-yard line by Stanford safety Jordan Richards.
Hogan didn’t fare any better than Golson. The Stanford signal-caller was 8-of-18 passing for 67 yards and a touchdown.
But Golson redeemed himself to a degree with a late drive before halftime. The quarterback sprayed the ball all over the field, but he eventually connected a key 17-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Brown for the game’s tying score.
Both teams also had miscues on special teams.
Notre Dame kicker Kyle Brindza missed a field goal after a botched snap, while Stanford’s Jordan Williamson didn’t even get to attempt a field goal after the snap flew over the holder’s head.
It continues to rain heavily in South Bend, and the weather will have a dramatic effect on the second half.
Both teams play reliable defense, but Stanford’s plodding offense is far more suited to these conditions than Notre Dame’s. A strong running game along with solid defensive play will determine which team claims the victory in the second half.