Marecic scores TDs on offense and defense

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It took Owen Marecic 13 seconds to join an elite group of college football players. The Stanford star became the fourth player since 2003 -- the first in four years -- to score a touchdown on offense and defense.

Marecic scored on a 1-yard dive with 7:58 left and moments later got his first interception for Stanford; he returned it 20 yards into the end zone.

When asked about scoring twice in 13 seconds, the fullback/linebacker said, "That didn't cross my mind."

On the interception, he added, "The coverage and pass rush all game" was great. "It was just bound to happen; someone was going to get one."

Marecic is the first player to accomplish the feat since former Utah star Eric Weddle ran two interceptions back and scored a rushing touchdown against San Diego State in 2006.

  • Stanford senior Nate Whitaker had a career-high five field goals and outscored his former school.

    The reason he transferred to Stanford in 2008?

    "The weather and football," Whitaker said. "I felt like I was missing something" in football. "I saw an opportunity I deserved."

    Whitaker has made 13 in a row, including last season. He is 8 for 8 against the Irish in two seasons.

    Teammate Konrad Reuland also felt a sense of vindication after leaving Notre Dame for Stanford. The tight end had three catches for 48 yards Saturday.

    "I'm very nostalgic coming back here," he said. "It's not necessarily validation, but it clears my mind."

  • The Stanford defense suffered a blow when safety Michael Thomas left the game in third quarter with what appeared to be a left-leg injury. He needed crutches to walk off the field after the game.

    Thomas's leg got caught underneath receiver TJ Jones on a 21-yard completion by Notre Dame's Dayne Crist.

    Backup tailback Tyler Gaffney left the game with an ankle injury after only two carries. He is expected to have an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury.

  • Coach Jim Harbaugh didn't make many friends inside Notre Dame Stadium when calling a timeout on the Irish's final drive. Leading 37-14, the Cardinal coach called a time out with 24 seconds left and Notre Dame threatening to score from the 20.

    The Irish then called a timeout with five seconds left and Notre Dame in a third-and-16 at the 19-yard line. Crist's final pass went incomplete to end the game.

    -- ELLIOTT ALMOND