Notre Dame takes on Stanford in the battle for the Legends Trophy on Saturday night. The Irish are looking to cap off an eleven-win season and position themselves for a third College Football Playoff bid in the past four seasons.
Notre Dame and Stanford met for the first time when Knute Rockne and the famed Four Horsemen traveled West to take on Pop Warner’s Stanford Cardinal in the 1925 Rose Bowl. After only playing a few times over the next six decades, the series resumed in 1988 and since then, Notre Dame and Stanford have played each year except 1995, 1996, and 2020.
Playing Stanford and USC each season allows Notre Dame to end every season with a game in California, aiding West Coast recruiting efforts.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Stanford 21-13. Since taking over in 2010, Brian Kelly only has a 4-6 record against the Cardinal, though these programs are currently on opposite trajectories and the Irish will be looking to extend their current two-game winning streak.
RESULTS SINCE 2000
2019 – Notre Dame 45 Stanford 24 (Away)
2018 – Notre Dame 38 Stanford 17 (Home)
2017 – Stanford 38 Notre Dame 20 (Away)
2016 – Stanford 17 Notre Dame 10 (Home)
2015 – Stanford 38 Notre Dame 36 (Away)
2014 – Notre Dame 17 Stanford 14 (Home)
2013 – Stanford 27 Notre Dame 20 (Away)
2012 – Notre Dame 20 Stanford 13 (Home)
2011 – Stanford 28 Notre Dame 14 (Away)
2010 – Stanford 37 Notre Dame 14 (Home)
2009 – Stanford 45 Notre Dame 38 (Away)
2008 – Notre Dame 28 Stanford 21 (Home)
2007 – Notre Dame 21 Stanford 13 (Away)
2006 – Notre Dame 31 Stanford 10 (Home)
2005 – Notre Dame 38 Stanford 31 (Away)
2004 – Notre Dame 23 Stanford 15 (Home)
2003 – Notre Dame 57 Stanford 7 (Away)
2002 – Notre Dame 31 Stanford 7 (Home)
2001 – Stanford 17 Notre Dame 13 (Away)
2000 – Notre Dame 20 Stanford 14 (Home)
1999 – Stanford 40, Notre Dame 37 (Away)
1998 – Notre Dame 35, Stanford 17 (Home)
1997 – Stanford 33, Notre Dame 15 (Away)
1994 – Notre Dame 34, Stanford 15 (Home)
1993 – Notre Dame 48, Stanford 20 (Away)
1992 – Stanford 33, Notre Dame 16 (Home)
1991 – Notre Dame 42, Stanford 26 (Away)
1990 – Stanford 36, Notre Dame 31 (Home)
1989 – Notre Dame 27, Stanford 17 (Away)
1988 – Notre Dame 42, Stanford 14 (Home)
1964 – Notre Dame 28, Stanford 6 (Home)
1963 – Stanford 24, Notre Dame 14 (Away)
1942 – Notre Dame 27, Stanford 0 (Home)
1925 – Notre Dame 27, Stanford 10 (Rose Bowl)
2019 – Notre Dame achieved its third straight double-digit win season with a 45-24 win. This victory was the first for the Irish at Stanford since 2007. Notre Dame got off to a slow start and trailed 17-7 with 6:16 left in the first half when freshman DE Isaiah Foskey blocked a punt. The Irish recovered on the one-yard line, scored on a touchdown pass from QB Ian Book to TE Tommy Tremble, and would put up 31 unanswered points to take control of the game.
2018 – Notre Dame ended a three-game losing streak against Stanford when the 8th-ranked Irish blew out the 7th-ranked Cardinal. In just his second start of the season since taking over for Brandon Wimbush, Ian Book threw for 278 yards and four TDs. RB Dexter Williams came back from a four-game suspension to rush for 161 yards – including a 45-yard touchdown on his first carry of the season – and WR Miles Boykin had eleven catches for 144 yards. This game flipped the entire nature of the series, as for the first time in years, Notre Dame was by far and away the more physical team. The Irish defense held Stanford to just 229 yards and had five sacks, nine TFLs, and eight passes broken up.
2015 – Brian Van Gorder’s Notre Dame defense squandered the Irish’s first chance at a College Football Playoff berth. QB DeShone Kizer had a monster game with 234 passing yards and 128 rushing yards and led the Irish offense on a fifteen-play, 88-yard drive to take a 36-35 lead with thirty seconds remaining. However, the defense allowed Stanford to drive 45 yards in just 24 seconds, and Conrad Ukropina drilled a 45-yard field goal as time expired to give Stanford a 38-36 win. The Irish would go on to lose to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
2014 – Notre Dame moved to 5-0 as QB Everett Golson found TE Ben Koyack in the corner of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown on fourth down, and then Jaylon Smith and the Irish defense sealed the win. Notre Dame would defeat North Carolina 50-43 the following week before dropping a heartbreaker at Florida State.
2012 – In one of the biggest games on campus since the 2005 matchup with USC – even College Gameday was there – Notre Dame overcame a downpour and 10-3 and 13-10 deficits in the fourth quarter to force overtime. After QB Tommy Rees threw a touchdown pass to WR T.J. Jones on the opening drive of overtime, the Notre Dame defense – led by All-American LB Manti Te’o – stonewalled RB Stepfan Taylor four times on the goal line to secure the win.
2009 – The Charlie Weis tenure had started with so much promise but ended in disappointment. As was typical of the Weis era, the Irish played hard and had offensive success (with Jimmy Clausen throwing for 340 yards and five TDs) but were absolutely dominated in the trenches. Stanford RB Toby Gerhart had 205 yards rushing and three TDs to help the Cardinal overcome a 38-30 fourth quarter deficit and pull out a 45-38 victory. Weis would be fired two days later and end his Notre Dame career with a 35-27 record.
2005 – Notre Dame entered this match up ranked No. 6 in the country with an 8-2 record. A win by the Fighting Irish guaranteed a spot in a major bowl. The 5-5 Cardinal battled Notre Dame, tying the Irish up twice and taking a fourth quarter lead when TC Ostrander hit Matt Traverso from 4-yards out to make it a 31-30 game with just 1:46 left in the game. QB Brady Quinn completed two passes to Jeff Samardzija for 47 yards and hit Maurice Stovall for 20 more yards to set up a 6-yard Darius Walker touchdown, which was followed by a 2-point conversion run by Walker that gave the Irish a 38-31 win. Quinn finished with 432 passing yards, Walker rushed for 186 yards and both Samardzija (191 yards) and Stovall (136 yards) went for over 100 yards receiving.
1925 – In Notre Dame’s first-ever matchup with Stanford and first-ever (and only) Rose Bowl appearance, Knute Rockne and the Four Horseman defeated Pop Warner’s Cardinal team 27-10 on January 1, 1925. Elmer Layden ran for three touchdowns as the Irish put a cherry on top of their first national championship.
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