Notre Dame close the regular season 9-3 with big win over Stanford

NOW: Notre Dame close the regular season 9-3 with big win over Stanford

SOUTH BEND, Ind -- Early struggles lead to a large win margin for the Irish in their 37th meeting versus Stanford.

Early struggles put Notre Dame against the wall at Stanford.

After trailing 3-0 to start the game, quarterback Sam Hartman fumbled, leading to the Cardinals taking a 6-0 lead.

It was long after that running back Audric Estime left a major impact on the game with a 39-yard touchdown run giving the Irish a 7-6 lead.

Estime finished the game with 238 yards and four touchdowns. Just 24 yards shy of a single game record, but still managed to set a single season record with 14 touchdowns this season.

Estime's performance was ignited due to not being selected as a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker award, presented to the best running back in the country.

"I'm not gonna lie, I definitely feel me. I definitely feel like I'm one of the best running backs in the country if not the best. And I'll definitely want other people to notice but I feel like after today I felt like a lot of people will notice," Estime said.

"What a tough physical special football player you know, obviously he'll have a decision to make here after the season on what he's going to do. But I'll tell you what, man he is a special talent that is given Notre Dame everything he has had for the past three seasons so grateful to have him and have him be a part of this team," Head Coach Marcus Freeman added.

The Irish would go on to score 20 unanswered points in the third quarter, putting up a final score of 56-23 over the Cardinals and bringing the Legends Trophy back to South Bend.

Freeman is now 9-3 in back-to-back regular seasons, in his first two years as the head coach of Notre Dame football.

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