Game Day: Stanford @ Notre Dame

lep

I’ve always thought that teams named after abstract entities such as colors were cute. I think my personal favorite was back in the day when Marquette was the Gold. I guess that would have been a menacing nickname back in the days of Teddy Roosevelt and the Roughriders when the Gold standard was used or something like that. Heck, even now, as our dollar continues to crumble, the exchange rate for gold can be pretty daunting. And then of course there is the Stanford Cardinal. That one specific red in the vast pallet of reds which was picked to symbolize academic prowess on the west coast.

Football competency? Not so much. Not in this decade.

After a strong game last week, the Irish face a weaker opponent. But as we have seen this season, it appears our boys love to play down to the opposition a la SDSU. Heck, the Aztecs might be a better team than Stanford this year.

Well, maybe not quite.

The Cardinal has had a pretty tough schedule so far, losing to then ranked TCU 31-14 and 15th Ranked ASU 41-17. They slipped by a dismal Washington team 35-28 last week and beat San Jose State 23-10 a few weeks ago. Their most notable win this year is over Oregon State, who we know took down then #1 USC.

Transitive property anyone?

To win, the Irish just have to stick with the plan. The running game has to show up, and it could be a challenge, with Stanford giving up 128 yards per game. But it needs to be effective just to balance the pass attack, where Stanford gives up 260 yards per game. Clausen needs to be sharp, and the pass game will be the offensive difference.

The deal breaker could be on defense. We’ve seen the Irish in the nickel base defense against teams who use the spread. I’m pretty sure Stanford doesn’t though, so we’ll see the Irish 3-4 base. Hopefully they can control Stanford RB Toby Gerhart better than Ringer.

I see where the game COULD be close, but I really don’t want to believe it. Tune in at 2:30 ET on NBC! I have the Irish pulling it out 34-21.

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