STANFORD, Calif. – Jack Coan threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score and No. 5 Notre Dame finished off the regular season with a 45-14 victory over Stanford on Saturday to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Fighting Irish (11-1, No. 6 CFP) won their final seven games following a loss to Cincinnati but will likely need some help next week to get into the College Football Playoff for the third time in the past four seasons.
Stanford (3-9) lost its seventh straight game to end the season following an upset of then-No. 3 Oregon for its longest losing streak and most losses in a season since a 1-11 campaign in 2006.
This game wasn't competitive from the start as the Irish forced a three-and-out on the first possession and answered with a 74-yard drive capped by Coan's 16-yard TD pass to Braden Lenzy.
Coan added another TD pass to George Takacs and the Irish built a 24-0 halftime lead. He finished 26 for 35 for 345 yards with the 1-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Jonathan McGill intercepted Coan's pass on the first drive of the second half to set up a 13-yard drive capped by Austin Jones' 5-yard run. That ended Notre Dame's streak of not allowing a TD at 219:17 of game action since North Carolina scored in the fourth quarter on Oct. 30.
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer had nine catches for 105 yards, giving him 64 catches on the season. That breaks the school single-season record for tight ends of 63 set by former Bishop Dwenger standout Tyler Eifert in 2011.