SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 1 -- Ron Powlus passed for three touchdowns Saturday, including two as part of a 17-point third quarter, in leading No. 7 Notre Dame to a 34-15 victory over Stanford. Notre Dame (4-1) held a narrow 10-3 halftime lead before erupting for 17 points in the third quarter to open a 27-3 bulge.
Powlus hit Derrick Mayes with a 10-yard touchdown pass on Notre Dame's first possession of the second half for a 17-3 advantage. Powlus then connected with Mike Miller on a 47-yard TD with 3:49 left in the third quarter and Scott Cinga kicked a 33-yard field goal 2:22 later to cap the 17-point period. Stanford (1-2-1) had won in its last two trips to Notre Dame Stadium, including a 33-16 victory in 1992. The visiting team had won the previous five meetings between the schools. Notre Dame won at Stanford, 48-20, last season. Steve Stenstrom hit Mark Harris for a pair of touchdowns for Stanford, but both came in the fourth quarter after Notre Dame had built a 34-3 lead. Stenstrom connected with Harris on scoring passes of 9 and 19 yards. Marc Edwards' 1-yard scoring run 59 seconds into the fourth quarter had given Notre Dame a 34-3 lead. Stanford scored on its first possession when Eric Abrams kicked a 34- yard field goal to cap a drive which lasted more than 6 minutes. Powlus hit Charles Stafford with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 3:42 left in the first quarter and Cinga kicked a 43-yard field goal late in the second quarter to help the Fighting Irish build a 10-3 halftime advantage.