Notre Dame Football Flashback Friday: The Epic 2012 Goal Line Stand

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13: Stepfan Taylor
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13: Stepfan Taylor /

The Notre Dame football team entered the 2012 matchup against Stanford as an undefeated team. However, despite an undefeated record, the Irish still felt like the little brother to the Cardinal.

Since arriving at Notre Dame in 2010, Brian Kelly used Stanford as the standard for his team’s physicality. In 2010 and 2011, the Cardinal dominated the Irish up front. The pushed the Irish around on both sides of the football.

It showed on the scoreboard as the Irish lost by double digits in consecutive years. In 2010, Notre Dame fell 37-14 to No. 16 Stanford. In 2011, the Irish narrowed the gap but still lost by 14 points.
So, when David Shaw brought his Cardinal into Notre Dame Stadium, a physicality test faced the Irish. If the first five games of the season were any indication, Notre Dame would be ready.

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The Fighting Irish entered with physical wins over Navy, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan and Miami (FL). In particular, the 20-3 win over the Spartans demonstrated that this defense was extremely tough and physical.

The win against Michigan showed that the Irish were able to shake off the past and forge forward into the future.  The Wolverines were the first team that the Irish finally stood up to in the 2012 season. Notre Dame lost to Michigan in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in heartbreaking fashion.

When College GameDay arrived in town, Notre Dame had the opportunity to expel another demon that had been haunting them.

The Heavy Weight Clash

The game was a heavyweight battle with both teams trading punches. Stanford scored on a fumble recovery when Everett Golson was hit from the blindside in the end zone. The Cardinal took a 10-3 lead into halftime.

The teams held each other scoreless in the 3rd Quarter. To begin the 4th Quarter, Everett Golson hit Tyler Eifert for a 24-yard touchdown. This tied the game. However, Stanford would take a 13-10 lead with 6:12 left in the first half.

As the Irish tried to drive to tie the contest, Golson suffered a head injury on a helmet to helmet hit. Tommy Rees, now the Quarterbacks coach, came in to relieve Golson. Notre Dame added Kyle Brindza field goal to push the game into overtime.Notre Dame received the ball first. After what looked like a devastating sack on Tommy Rees, the Irish rallied with two great catches including a touchdown grab by TJ Jones. The Irish led, 20-13.

That’s when the fun began. Stanford quickly drove inside the Notre Dame 5-yard. From that point, the Irish stopped the Cardinal on four straight runs. After a video review, the referee said that the call on the field stood.

This victory propelled Notre Dame to its only undefeated season in 25 seasons. The Irish hopes to cap off a great season with a victory against Stanford on Saturday.