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Notre Dame Football: What You Need To Know About The Stanford Cardinal

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The field on the farm is probably still terrible.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The college football season is rapidly approaching and we are just getting more and more impatient. So much so, that things slip through the cracks (this preview series for opponents of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, for example). FINALLY we have reached the end of this series.

Instead of filling your head with too much information, we offer you these choice nuggets to contemplate. If you need an in-depth preview of the Stanford Cardinal, please check out Bill Connelly’s excellent work.

Stanford

The Cardinal football program has built itself into a real national power. Or, at least, that’s what we’re told. Don’t get it wrong, Stanford has been outstanding over the past 7 years, but what have they really done? A national power presses for a national title, and despite the wins in Palo Alto, Stanford has yet to become a real player on that stage.

5 Things You Need To Know

  1. Stanford has a bit of a quarterback dilemma, but only because not enough time has elapsed. Keller Chryst is most definitely the starter, but he may see little to no action in week one as he is still coming back from a torn ACL. If the knee gets hurt again, Ryan Burns is still there. He started against the Irish last season (and pretty much most of the other tougher opponents).
  2. For all of the hype that came along with Christian McCaffery, he never really did all that much against the Irish on the field. He did, however, hurt the Irish last year by sitting the game out with an injury, which put the ball in Bryce Love’s hands. Love rushed for 129 yards against Notre Dame in that game.
  3. You know how Stanford’s offensive line is usually pretty damn good? Well, they return 4 starters from last year. Just dwell on that for a moment.
  4. The Stanford defense returns a bunch of players from last year, and most of the starters are juniors. Solomon Thomas’s exit to the NFL Draft is a HUGE loss for the Cardinal, and if there is a weak spot, it’s inexperience along the front four.
  5. This game has become one of the better rivalry games in all of college football over the last decade, but that decade has seen little success for the Irish. Notre Dame hasn’t won in Palo Alto (on that crap field) since 2007, and only 4-6 through that time (2-6 over the past 8 years).
NCAA Football: Stanford at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Worst Case Scenario

There’s nothing left to play for, and Notre Dame gets physically abused by an always tough Stanford team.

Best Case Scenario

Much like in 2015, Notre Dame is in the thick of a playoff run, and lay everything on the line. Thank the gods that BVG isn’t there to oversee a complete defensive meltdown in the final minutes.

Early Prediction

Notre Dame 23, Stanford 20. The Irish get a little payback and steal one in the last minute from the Cardinal. Yes, I know this means I have the Irish picked to go 12-0. While that probably won’t happen, this is still a schedule of teams that Notre Dame is capable of beating. Just thought I’d throw that out there for y’all.