Irish finish out dismal season with a victory over Stanford

Robert Hughes helped Notre Dame put a positive finish on the worst season ever for college football's most-storied team.

Hughes ran for 136 yards and the go-ahead, 6-yard touchdown with six minutes remaining to help the Fighting Irish (3-9) beat Stanford 21-14 on a slippery field in Palo Alto.

The game was marked by questionable calls against both team and a playing surface that could be credited with many tackles, and missed tackles, on the day. The field at Stanford Stadium was giving away in chunks creating an unusually high number of slips Saturday afternoon.

Notre Dame drove for the winning score after Derek Belch missed a 49-yard field goal attempt, his fourth miss of the game for Stanford (3-8). Hughes broke off a 44-yard run down to the Cardinal 8 and scored two plays later.

Notre Dame ends the season with consecutive wins for the first time in 15 years. The Irish also avoided being the first team to fall to ten losses after a ten-win season.

The Stanford game officially marks the end of the careers of several notable Irish players. Defensive end Trevor Laws, tight end John Carlson, and safety / punt returner Tom Zbikowski all played their final game in the blue and gold.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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