They took an early 3-0 lead -- interesting, all 10 of Stanford's points came off turnovers -- but ND went ahead 6-3 in the second and expanded that to 20-3 before Stanford scored their only TD late in the 3rd quarter.
Playing from behind often skews offensive statistics, especially passing statistics. See, e.g., the 1988 ND-USC game. Southern Cal led in first downs 21-8 and had a big advantage in yards gained, but nobody other than a hard-core Trojan partisan would dispute that ND dominated that game and demonstrably was the better team. Indeed, ND had a big statistical edge after the first quarter; most of USC's yards came after ND took a 14-0 lead.
For many years, the teams with the top-ranked passing offenses in the nation were losing teams who had to air it out while trailing. That's not as much the case now as it was as recently as the 1980s, but it remains a factor -- and a cautionary tale for stat geeks who undervalue the final numbers on the scoreboard.