STANFORD, Calif. – Wayne Lyons intercepted two passes from Tommy Rees late in the fourth quarter, and No. 8 Stanford held off No. 25 Notre Dame 27-20 on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Cardinal (10-2) overcame two interceptions from Kevin Hogan and a penalty that wiped away another touchdown to win their 16th consecutive home game. Stanford will play for its second straight Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl berth next week when it faces No. 13 Arizona State in the conference championship game.
If Arizona State beats rival Arizona late Saturday night, the conference championship will be held in Tempe, Ariz. Otherwise it will be at Stanford, which handed the Sun Devils their only league loss this season.
The final tuneup for that game turned out to be another tough test.
Tyler Gaffney ran for 189 yards and a touchdown, and Hogan threw for 158 yards and a TD pass to Devon Cajuste to help the Cardinal take a 21-6 lead in the third quarter.
Rees nearly rallied the Fighting Irish (8-4) by throwing two touchdown passes later in the quarter. But interceptions on Notre Dame’s final two drives dashed Notre Dame’s comeback.
Lyons’s two interceptions helped Stanford record a turnover for the 36th straight game.
Rees finished 16-for-34 passing for 199 yards.
The senior passed Jimmy Clausen (60) for second on Notre Dame’s career list with 61 touchdown passes, behind only Brady Quinn (95).