SOUTH BEND – Center Jesse Burkett recovered a fumble in the end zone after Bryce Love fumbled on the goal line, Stanford’s only offensive touchdown, and cornerback Quenton Meeks returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown as the Cardinal rallied from 10 points down to beat Notre Dame 17-10 Saturday night.
The Irish defense, which had forced three previous turnovers in their own territory, had a chance to recover the fumble but linebacker Nyles Morgan tried to scoop up the ball. When he failed to pick it up, Burkett lunged on it. Stanford, playing without injured Christian McCaffrey, added a 2-point conversion on a pitch to Love, who ran in untouched.
Stanford (4-2), which started the season ranked No. 8, averted losing three straight for the first time since 2007. The Irish (2-5) ranked No. 10 in the preseason, lost a third straight home game for the first time since 2007.
Notre Dame had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds. But DeShone Kizer couldn’t get a pass off on fourth-and-10 from the 14. He was about to be sacked and pitched the ball to left guard Quentin Nelson and the ball was ruled dead.
The Irish built a 10-0 lead only to see the Cardinal score the final 17 points of the contest. Kizer was benched in the second half after throwing a pair of interceptions, including Meeks return for a score.
Stanford: The Cardinal, who had one offensive touchdown in each of their last three games, continued to struggle offensively but came up with the big play when it needed it. Stanford drove 47 yards on 12 plays on its opening possession, but Conrad Ukropina’s 45-yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright.
Notre Dame: The Irish defense, which had given up at least 30 points to the first four Power 5 opponents it faced this season, held an opponent to 17 points or less for a second week.
Stanford: The Cardinal return to Pac-12 play with a home game against Colorado next Saturday, a team it has beaten five straight times.
Notre Dame: The Irish get the week off before facing No. 16 Miami on Oct. 29.