Notebook: RB Remound Wright faults Stanford offense for loss

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

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SOUTH BEND — Done with the obligatory interview following Saturday’s 17-14 loss to Notre Dame, Stanford running back Remound Wright turned to leave a hallway near the Cardinal locker room.

As he turned to exit a door, the back of Wright’s Stanford football T-shirt displayed the following slogan: The home of intellectual brutality.

Brutal was a fitting word to describe the Cardinal loss, which came courtesy of a fourth down, Everett Golson-to-Ben Koyack touchdown pass with 1:01 remaining.

Wright's 11-yard TD run with 3:01 remaining gave the Cardinal a 14-10 lead.

For Wright, a 5-foot-9, 204-pound bundle of muscle, the loss stung especially hard. The Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger product was playing in his relative backyard in front of approximately 25 friends and family.

“It was fun. It was exciting,” Wright said. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since going to Stanford. I had to control my excitement all week so that I didn’t peak too early.”

Wright finished as Stanford’s leading rusher with a pedestrian 29 yards, but the senior was hesitant to toss too much credit the way of Notre Dame’s defense.

“I’m not sure they were doing much. I think all the fault kind of lies with our offense,” Wright said. “We didn’t execute, had chances to make plays and, a couple inches there, a couple inches here, we didn’t really do that great of a job. So we stopped ourselves.”

Wright did offer kudos the way of Irish sophomore linebacker Jaylon Smith, a fellow Fort Wayne product who finished with 14 tackles.

“I think Jaylon’s a great player. The worst linebackers to play against are the really athletic ones,” Wright said. “You take the big, strong ones all day, but it’s the athletic ones that are hard to deal with and Jaylon is a very athletic, great player.”

Notre Dame became involved with Wright, but did not offer, and by the time ND’s involvement increased, Wright was committed to Stanford. Being back in Indiana and Saturday’s cold and windy conditions were no bother to Wright.

“It’s fun. My body recognizes the weather,'' Wright said. "It feels like football weather to me. I recognized faces in the crowd, faces on the other team,” Wright said. “It’s everything you dream for, playing college football.''

Until the nightmare ending.

Cover zero

With Notre Dame facing the fourth-and-everything play that would determine the outcome of the game, the Irish called a timeout to set up what was a relatively easy Golson-to-Koyack TD.

During the timeout, the Cardinal, who were in a Cover 3 defense, were told to be alert for a bubble screen. Cardinal safety Zach Hoffpauir was on the other side of the field as Golson moved to his left and found a lonely Koyack.

“When I turned around,” Hoffpauir said, “I saw the ball was in the air and no one was really covering him.”

One of the closest Stanford players to the play was cornerback Wayne Lyons, a one-time ND recruiting target. Lyons intercepted a pair of passes in last year’s Stanford win over ND, but he was called for a pass-interference penalty in the end zone on Notre Dame’s final drive. Safety Jordan Richards also was in the vicinity.

“There was no coverage on the Notre Dame touchdown pass,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “That sounds sarcastic, but he was wide-open, but there was nobody on him.”

Thoughts on Golson

Golson completed 20 of 43 for 241 yards, an interception and a touchdown, but he earned the respect of the Stanford players.

“He’s a great athlete, a great football player,” linebacker Kevin Anderson said.

“I think he had good command of the game for the most part,” Hoffpauir said, “and made the plays he needed to make and came out with the win.”

Cardinal clips

Stanford allowed fewer than 30 points for the 28th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the nation. … The Cardinal have at least one tackle for loss in 51 consecutive games. … Stanford was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time since Sept. 27, 2012, and under 50 yards rushing for the first time since Oct. 27, 2007. … ND’s game-winning touchdown with 1:01 remaining is the only second-half touchdown Stanford has allowed this season. Entering Saturday, Stanford had allowed just two field goals in the second half all season. … Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan threw two interceptions on Saturday, the third time in his career he has done so. One of the other times was last season against ND.

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Stanford QB Kevin Hogan (8) receives an intentional grounding violation as Notre Dame’s Elijah Shumate, ground, and Jaylon Smith (9) add pressure during the Notre Dame-Stanford football game on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)