Stanford ready for Notre DameToby Gerhart plans to spend a few extra minutes soaking it all in before walking off the field in what could be his final game at Stanford Stadium on Saturday against Notre Dame.
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Toby Gerhart plans to spend a few extra minutes soaking it all in before walking off the field in what could be his final game at Stanford Stadium on Saturday against Notre Dame.
“I don’t think it will really sink in until after the game is over,” Gerhart said. “Hopefully it’s a win, we’re happy and celebrating and it will be a sweet ending.”
Gerhart will be far from the only participant with those sorts of emotions Saturday when the Cardinal (7-4) host the Fighting Irish (6-5) in the regular season finale for both teams.
The game could well be the last at Notre Dame for Irish coach Charlie Weis and star quarterback Jimmy Clausen, too.
Though he’d presumably play in a bowl game, Clausen is widely expected to skip his senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. That’s a decision Gerhart is weighing as well, deciding whether to apply for a medical redshirt or head to the NFL.
Weis’ fate is out of his hands. He will fly back with the team to meet with athletic director Jack Swarbrick instead of going on a recruiting trip as originally planned.
Weis said Sunday that he “would have a tough time arguing” if the school decided to fire him after five seasons. Weis led the Irish to BCS bowls in his first two years but has struggled since then.
His 35-26 record gives him a .573 winning percentage, which is worse than the .583 winning percentage that got Notre Dame’s two previous coaches, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie, fired.
Weis refused to talk about his job status after Sunday, saying his focus was entirely on winning this week’s game.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “I’m fired up. I really am. I’m fired up to go out and play Stanford. I’m really looking forward to it.”
It has been a tumultuous week at Notre Dame with talk about Weis’ job status and Clausen getting a black eye after being punched outside a bar early Sunday. The Notre Dame players were off limits to reporters this week. The Irish also will be without leading rusher Armando Allen, who is out with a cracked bone in his right hand.
The Stanford players are trying not to pay too much attention to all the hubbub around Notre Dame.
“We just don’t let it affect us at all,” Cardinal center Chase Beeler said. “No matter what the conditions are there, we will prepare like they are anyone else.”