Saturday evening college football action and we will see a team from the independent ranks take on a team from the PAC-12 Conference as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish grapple with the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California. The Irish enter this game at 10-1 on the year while Stanford comes in at 3-8.
Notre Dame Annihilates The Yellow JacketsThe Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been playing complete football down the stretch as they have outscored their last three opponents 117-9. Wow. In their last game, they completely crushed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at home by a score of 55-0 to win their sixth game in a row and move them into the 6th slot in the NCAA Playoff rankings. Notre Dame has a shot at the playoffs as Ohio State Or Michigan will lose this week, Alabama could lose to Georgia in the SEC Title game and the Irish could very well eventually jump over Cincinnati in the final poll, especially with an impressive win in this game.
Back to the demolition of the Yellow Jackets. The Irish raced out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back while outgaining the Jackets 514 to 224 in the contest. The Irish ground attack has gained steam down the stretch and they ran for 212 yards in the win with Kyren Williams putting up 56 yards and two TDs. Notre Dame has now rushed for 208.2 ypg in their last six games after averaging 80.3 ypg through their first five games. Notre Dame will now pit their red-hot ground attack against one of the worst run defenses in the nation.
Williams could have a big game and once he gets going, then Jack Coan could have a big game. Coan threw for 285 yards with two TDs and no INTs against the Jackets and he now has thrown for 2296 yards with 18 TDs and just four INTs on the year. Coan has some struggles earlier in the year but he has finished the season strong, but Stanford has a good pass defense, so he will be tested here. The Notre Dame defense has been outstanding down the stretch as they have allowed just 3.0 ppg and 228.7 ypg over their last three games. This defense could have another good showing as they will be facing a Stanford offense that has been pathetic of late.
Stanford Seems To Have Thrown In The TowelThe Stanford Cardinal did start the season at 3-2, but it has been all downhill since then as they have lost their last six games in a row. Their last three have shown that they may have thrown in the towel as Stanford has been outscored by 32.0 ppg in those three games. Can Stanford get up off the mat and at least make a game of it?
If they hope to, they will need their defense to step up, but it has been a mess of late as they have allowed 564 ypg and 42.7 ppg in their last three games. Even more troubling is the fact that they have allowed 337 ypg rushing over that stretch to fall to 127th in the nation against the run. In their last game, the Cardinal lost to California at home by a score of 41-11 and they allowed the Bears to rumble for 352 yards in thye contest. Not good as they are about to face a very good Notre Dame ground attack.
The offense has been pathetic of late as Stanford has averaged just 10.7 ppg on 229 ypg of total offense over their last three games. It will not get easier against a Notre Dame defense that has been lights out of late. Stanford had 290 yards of total offense against the Cal Bears with just 43 yards coming on the ground. They will need to do better here, but the Cardinal are just 126th in the nation in rushing at 90.2 ypg. Tanner McKee threw for 247 yards against the Bears but with two INTs and no TDs. He has not had a bad year, throwing for 2163 yards with 14 TDs and seven INTs so far. Stanford will need a big game from him if they hope to keep this one close.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I know the Irish are my team and that I have been picking them, a lot of late, but I have also been winning with them and I expect that to continue here. Notre Dame has plenty of momentum right now as they have won their last six games in a row, with the last three being by 36 ppg. Now they get to face a Stanford team that has given and has been outscored by 32.0 ppg over their last three games.
Stanford has allowed 337 ypg on the ground over their last three games and the Irish have had their ground attack cooking down the stretch. Getting tun over as the Cardinal has of late is another sign of a team that has nothing left in the tank. Stanford will give up plenty here, while not scoring much as they have averaged just 10.7 ppg over their last three games, while the Irish have allowed just 3.0 ppg over the same stretch. Notre Dame needs to win big to impress the committee for a possible spot in the Playoffs. look for the Irish to win this one BIGGGGGG!!!!!
Full-Game Total Pick
Last week the Irish scored 55 points on Georgia Tech and they have now averaged 39.0 ppg over their last three games. The Irish will get big chunks on the ground against this porous Stanford defense and then Coan will hit them with some big plays over the top. Notre Dame should crack 48 points in this one, especially since the Stanford defense has allowed 564 ypg and 42.7 ppg over their last three games. The Irish have allowed a total of nine points over their last three games and the Stanford has averaged just 10.7 ppg over their last three. I can see the Cardinal putting up at least 10 points here as they have averaged 17.2 ppg at home. Lastly, the Over is 9-1 in Stanford's last 10 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game and 15-7 in Notre Dame's last 22 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.