Stanford vs. Notre Dame: 5 Keys to a Cardinal Victory

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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: 5 Keys to a Cardinal Victory
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In what is one of college football's biggest games this weekend, No. 17 Stanford (4-1) travels to South Bend to take on No. 7 Notre Dame (5-0). Saturday's matchup is pivotal for both teams, and the presence of ESPN's College Gameday crew only adds to the atmosphere.

The Fighting Irish will try to stay perfect and improve to 6-0.

Stanford will provide them with one of their biggest challenges of the season so far.

The Cardinal look to prove a point and show that they're still one of the best teams in the nation despite losing to the Washington Huskies a couple of weeks ago.

The Cardinal also can make history with a win. They'd be the first team to beat USC and Notre Dame four consecutive times.

Notre Dame, on paper, will be Stanford's second-most difficult opponent so far this season, but the way they match up with the Cardinal will likely make this game more difficult than the one against USC.  

Stanford is arguably very similar to the Michigan State Spartans. They both love to run the ball with their star running backs and have very tough defenses. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, Notre Dame managed to beat the Spartans 20-3.

David Shaw and the Cardinal will need many things to go their way in order to upset the Irish.

Here are five keys to the game for Stanford.

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