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No. 5 Notre Dame beats Stanford 45-14, awaits playoff fate

The Irish could make the CFP if teams above them lose in conference championship games next weekend.
Credit: AP
Notre Dame's Kyren Williams, right, runs against Stanford's Lance Keneley , left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

STANFORD, California — Jack Coan threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score on a quarterback sneak as No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1) finished its regular season with a 45-14 victory over Stanford Saturday night.

The win keeps Notre Dame's playoff hopes alive. The Fighting Irish won their final seven games following a home loss to Cincinnati in early October, but will likely need some help in conference championships games to get into the College Football Playoff for the third time in the past four seasons. 

Stanford lost its seventh straight game to end the season and extended its longest losing streak as well as finished with the most losses in a season since a 1-11 campaign in 2006.

After the game, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly discussed why Notre Dame is now one of the best four teams in the country and may have earned another playoff berth.

"We made our case," said Kelly after the game, citing the improvement his team made in all facets as the season progressed. Notre Dame's defense gave up just two touchdowns in four games in November - both scored by Stanford after the game was well in hand Saturday night.