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MailTribune.com
  • Notre Dame tops Stanford on controversial goal-line stand

  • SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame knew what was coming. Stanford doesn't get cute inches from the goal line.
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  • SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame knew what was coming. Stanford doesn't get cute inches from the goal line.
    And after three years of getting pushed around by the Cardinal, the Fighting Irish pushed back, winning the most important shoving match they've had all season.
    Or did they?
    A wall of Notre Dame defenders stopped Stepfan Taylor inches from the goal line on fourth down in overtime and the seventh-ranked Irish remained unbeaten with a 20-13 victory against the No. 17 Cardinal on a soggy Saturday in South Bend.
    Taylor kept reaching and turning with bodies underneath him, and his knee never did hit the ground before reaching the ball across the goal line. But the officials ruled it was too late. The whistle had blown, and that meant the play was stopped.
    Taylor finished with 102 yards on 28 carries. He needed 103.
    The celebration had to wait for a replay review. The call stood. Irish fans who weren't already on the field spilled out of the stands, and Notre Dame's national title hopes remained alive. The Irish are 6-0 for the first time since 2002.
    "Physically, we controlled the line of scrimmage," Irish coach Brian Kelly said of the last play. "Classic. Classic goal line stand."
    Stanford coach David Shaw wasn't so sure.
    "I didn't get a view of the last play," Shaw said. "Stepfan swore to me that he got it. That he got over the goal line on the second effort. The officials looked at it and said he didn't get in, so he didn't get in."
    TJ Jones made a reaching 7-yard touchdown catch from Tommy Rees on the first overtime possession to give the Fighting Irish (6-0) a seven-point lead.
    Stanford (4-2) responded by driving to a first-and-goal at the 4.
    Behind its big strong offensive line, Taylor ran for 1 on first, 2 on second and inches on third down. That left one play from inside the 1 and the Notre Dame defense, led by Carlos Calabrese, held up Taylor and moved him backward.
    No. 11 USC 24, Washington 14
    At Seattle, Anthony Brown blocked a punt and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown in the first half, Jawanza Starling forced and recovered Keith Price's fumble inside the USC 5-yard line in the fourth quarter, and the Trojans overcame offensive inconsistency for a win over Washington.
    Silas Redd rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half and Matt Barkley added an 18-yard TD pass to Xavier Grimble.
    California 31,Washington State 17
    At Pullman, Wash., quarterback Zach Maynard threw for a touchdown and ran for another as California beat Washington State.
    C.J. Anderson rushed for two touchdowns as the Golden Bears (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) earned their eighth straight win over the Cougars.
    UCLA 21, Utah 14
    At Pasadena, Calif., Brett Hundley passed for 183 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 68 yards and another score, and UCLA's defense largely shut down Utah.
    Johnathan Franklin rushed for 79 yards and a TD for the Bruins (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12), who bounced back solidly from a blowout loss to California that knocked them out of the Top 25 last weekend.
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