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Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Stanford Cardinal: Staff Picks

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The Leprechaun Lumberjack Company is ready to roll (logs).

Dexter Williams notre dame nfl draft
Dexter Williams
Mike Miller/One Foot Down

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 4-0 and it’s an entirely different world than last week at this time. Brian Kelly made the bold move to replace Brandon Wimbush with Ian Book at quarterback and suddenly the outlook looks a lot rosier.

Notre Dame put up 56 points on Wake Forest, and raised the ceiling for what kind of season this can be in 2018. I can’t remember the last time a blowout against a bad football team did so much for the confidence of a team and its fanbase. It’s its own little miracle — some kind of magic from a spellbook.

Bring on the Stanford Cardinal!

This season, instead of everyone picking five or six games with little to no explanation, the staff will pick the Notre Dame game AND one other team they have each chosen to follow this season, and will give predictions for that game as well.

I highly encourage you (our loyal readers) to do the same. In the comments below, give your prediction for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish AND take another team to follow and predict. Maybe you watch the Western Michigan Broncos on the side, or the Kansas Jayhawks or the Wisconsin Badgers — whoever. Join in and expand your love of Notre Dame Football into college football as a whole.

Here we go...

Martin Sweigert

Stanford 30, Notre Dame 27

I have little reason for doing this other than I often predict inaccurately and I would love nothing more than to be wrong here. Stanford’s comeback against Oregon on the road last week in a hostile environment should mean more than drubbing Wake Forest at noon. I see no way this game isn’t close, just giving the trees a nudge because they are more battle-tested with a higher rated defense.

Texas Longhorns 39, Kansas State Wildcats 21

Texas, I doubted you. I didn’t know if I could trust you. In a previous relationship I was hurt so many times, but now I know it wasn’t fair to project that on you, baby. I hope you can forgive me. Texas scores 10 more points a game than KSU. Texas allows 5 less points per game than KSU. Texas averages 60 more yards a game, and allows 40 less. Tom Herman is *35 years* younger than Bill Snyder. All signs pointing Longhorn here.

Wes Sweigert

Notre Dame 28 - Stanford 27

(No further explanation given. He just picked David Shaw to lose — Wes. That’s message enough).

Navy Midshipmen BYE

Austin Gallagher

Notre Dame 34, Stanford 24

This is the year that Note Dame conquers their demons and ends a three year losing streak to Stanford. Neither offense should find major trouble getting points, but the Irish defense appears to be more well equipped to handle Stanford’s offense than the reverse. Expect it to be a tightly contested game, but for the Irish to come out on top by 6-10 points in the end.

Washington 31, BYU 17

Washington has not looked quite as good as I anticipated this year, I’ll admit. With that said, I don’t think BYU is quite a Top 25 team, and simply outmatched here. The Huskies will crack 30 points for the first time this season against Division 1 competition en route to a comfortable win.

Lino Garcia

Notre Dame 17, Stanford 9

It’s crazy to think Stanford is the only team remaining on the Irish schedule that’s currently ranked, but that’s where we are coming into Saturday’s huge contest at Notre Dame Stadium under the lights. Ian Book showed last week that Brian Kelly made the right choice making him the starter, and I see him carrying that momentum into this week. The Irish defense will be another problem for Bryce Love this season, en route to a low scoring victory for Notre Dame.

Eastern Michigan Eagles 14, Northern Illinois Huskies 28

It’s now two heart breaking losses in a row for the Eagles, as they fell to the San Diego State Aztecs in overtime last Saturday (Sunday morning in the Eastern time zone). Things are getting eerily similar to last year, when almost all their losses came by one score. This week they’ll welcome Northern Illinois to Rynearson. The Huskies are 2-2, with losses to the Iowa Hawkeyes and Florida State Seminoles. I think the back to back losses have wrecked Eastern Michigan’s confidence, and the Huskies pull out the victory on the road.

Pat Sullivan

Notre Dame 34 Stanford 27

YA GOTTA BELIEVE IN SOMETHING. The Notre Dame defense will contain Bryce Love thanks to the play of Jerry Tillery and Te’von Coney, and KJ Costello will make some costly mistakes at the hands of Khalid Kareem and Julian Love and Alohi Gilman. Meanwhile, Ian Book continues to move the ball and Dexter Williams’ return fuels a strong ND rushing effort. ND pulls away late in the 4th, solidifying themselves as a College Football Playoff contender.

Florida Atlantic Owls 41 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 31

Why the hell not?

Matt Greene

Notre Dame 35, Stanford 31

In a game where Ian Book will probably start again, I see some more passing touchdowns this week. With the addition of Dexter Williams, there will be another element to the running game. Stanford can score points too, even on our defense that has success. After all is said and done, the Irish are better on one possession than the Cardinal, and they overtake Stanford to win an absolute nail biter. What else would you expect from this game?

Michigan State Spartans, 45 Central Michigan Chippewas 17

Yeah, this shouldn’t be close. CMU has only 1 win this season, and that was against FCS Maine. However, an added element here as the spread is 28.5. I predict The Chips score an absolute garbage time TD after being down 45-10 and they cover the spread. Bad Beat alert here.

Billy Gorman

Notre Dame 24, Stanford 20

Notre Dame’s offense finally figured it out last weekend, but now they come home to face their toughest test since Michigan in week 1. Don’t expect the offense to look quite like it did last week, but the Irish won’t need it to to win this one. I expect a close, defensive game where Notre Dame’s defensive front seven can be the difference makers. After a few late scores from both teams the Irish pull it out at home.

Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 10, Alabama Crimson Tide 63

My heart says the Ragin’ Cajuns pull off the upset of the season, everything else says this game is over in the first quarter. Unfortunately this won’t be the week we see Tua Tagovailoa play in the fourth quarter, as Alabama wins this one easy.

Jeff Czerniakowski

Notre Dame 31, Stanford 27

I think both offenses will have success on Saturday. The only difference will be the Irish defense holding the Cardinal to a few field goals in the red zone. These are very even teams and will come down to the 4th quarter.

Toledo Rockets 41, Fresno State Bulldogs 40

I am expecting a thriller. Toledo’s offense can travel anywhere and hasn’t been slowed down all year. I think both teams are similar in how good they can be. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fresno State won this in a close one but I’ll be cheering for the hometown Rockets to win a close one.

Philip Gough

Notre Dame 31, Stanford 21

This game will be decided on how well our secondary can compete with the big bodied receivers and tight ends from Stanford. I have been high on the entire unit so I am saying we win more 50/50 balls than we lose. Our offense is also steady and methodical throughout. Go Irish.

Holy Cross Crusaders 24, Bucknell Bison 21

Holy Cross wins a nail-biter against the Bison. Quarterback Geoff Wade bounces back this week and throws 2 touchdowns and runs in a third. This win gets the Crusaders on track as they get into the meat of their Patriot League Schedule.

Jude Seymour

Stanford 41, Notre Dame 8

Paulson Adebo, a one-time Notre Dame commit, breaks up eight passes in a single game. K.J. Costello turns in a performance that reminds Irish fans of a 2009 Tate Forcier. Bryce Love runs over Shayne Simon as Toby Gerhart once did to Gary Gray, ushering in a whole new meaning for #33Trucking. Brandon Wimbush throws a pick six in relief of an ineffective Ian Book. David Shaw smiles because he is happy. If I say all the things that scare me aloud simultaneously, then they will not happen, correct?

Colorado Buffaloes 35, UCLA Bruins 13

If losing their third game to open the season wasn’t humiliating enough, Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s dad started chirping on Twitter about Chip Kelly being a fraud. The Bruins haven’t opened a year with four losses since 1971, when they went 2-7-1. I don’t think the bye week fixed the fundamental problems with the UCLA roster, from top to bottom. They had 13 days to figure out how the hell to stop Laviska Shenault, who is tearing up the league for the Buffaloes.

Joe Londergan

Notre Dame 28, Stanford 25

To state what everybody else probably said already, I’m liking what I saw out of Ian Book. Stanford seems like they usually either have their offense really clicking or their defense really clicking in a game, but not really at the same time just yet. If they have a similar kind of game, then I think that Notre Dame can take advantage.

Oregon State Beavers 20, Arizona State Sun Devils 31

OSU took something of a step backward last week against Arizona. They held quarterback Khalil Tate more or less in check, but JJ Taylor and that running game had a field day. Arizona State is something of a similar team with a good quarterback in Manny Wilkins and a decent running game. I don’t see OSU having as dramatic a defensive turnaround as they need in one game, so the Beavs will drop to 1-4.

Joshua Vowles

Notre Dame 31, Stanford 20

I just think Notre Dame is the better team in all phases of the game. The only advantage Stanford has is a pretty big one... coaching. David Shaw is a smug, whiney, and insufferable S.O.B. but he has Brian Kelly’s number. Despite that, the addition of Ian Book at quarterback, and a solid defense led by Te’von Coney, Julian Love, Drue Tranquill, Jerry Tillery, Alohi Gilman and others will stifle the Cardinal attack all night. And oh yeah... Dexter Williams makes his return, and I have an incredible amount of faith that he will do something truly dynamic.

Wyoming Cowboys 24, Boise State Broncos 41

The Cowboys just can’t score enough points and keep its rather good defense off of the field. Boise State will be too explosive here with an impressive aerial assault led by quarterback Brett Rypien.

Jessica Smetana

Notre Dame 21, Stanford 17

This is going to be a close one. I don’t think either team will score very many points because Dexter Williams and Bryce Love will chew up a lot of clock. It will still come down to the wire, but Notre Dame will win because it’s at home.

Clemson Tigers 35, Syracuse Orange 7

Clemson’s backup quarterback Kelly Bryant (who led them to a nearly undefeated season and a playoff spot last year) transferred, thus bringing in the Trevor Lawrence era. If you haven’t been paying attention, Trevor Lawrence is literally a football GOD. I have been anxiously awaiting him as Clemson’s QB1 for like 3 years. He’s only a freshman, but Clemson’s playing at home against Syracuse and Clemson still has one of the best defenses in football.