Stanford offensive lineman Chris Marinelli talked a big game earlier this week when he said that he “hated” Notre Dame, Catholics, and pretty much anyone who’s ever lived in the state of Indiana. He backed it up with…well, he’s an offensive lineman so it’s kinda hard to quantify what he did exactly. But his team lost, so all that yapping really worked out for him.
Marinelli’s motivation apparently worked for the Irish, though, who built a 28-7 lead before holding on for a 28-21 win over the Cardinal in South Bend. But we were treated to a little extra drama, as the teams scuffled after the final whistle and then Jimmy Clausen accused Jim Harbaugh of giving him the cold shoulder afterward. And, naturally, Pac-10 officials screwed up a call in the second quarter that had Harbaugh livid.
Clausen claims that he tried to find Harbaugh after the game to shake his hand, but that the coach left him hanging (via ESPN.COM):
“He obviously didn’t want to talk to me,” Clausen said.
It’s kind of an odd accusation, considering Harbaugh was quite complimentary of Clausen in his postgame comments. Harbaugh said he was concerned with the postgame shoving match and didn’t see Clausen:
“My main objective was getting our players off the field,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh’s other objective was complaining about the latest in a string of bad calls by the fine officiating crews of the Pacific-10 Conference.
From Jake Curtis‘ SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE story:
(Harbaugh) was angry about a play on a Stanford punt in the second quarter with the Irish leading 14-7. The kick bounced off the hands of Irish returner Armando Allen and was recovered by Stanford at the Irish 37-yard line. However, officials called Stanford’s Nate Wilcox-Fogel for interfering with the catch, even though replays suggested otherwise.
“We got a couple of bad calls,” Harbaugh said after the game. “It’s hard to imagine people don’t know football any better than that. Maybe I’ll be swayed differently after I see the replay, but from what I saw on the field, I still can’t get over it. It was a really bad call.”
Notre Dame’s Pat Kuntz, who had an interception, a fumble recovery, and two sacks, admitted that Marinelli’s comments fired up his team:
“I just felt all the trash talking that went on before the game fired us up. I felt like somebody was trying to step into our house and push us around. We weren’t letting that happen.”
The Irish are now 4-1, putting them only six wins away from getting the opportunity to lose by four touchdowns in a BCS game. But they play five of their last seven games on the road.