Stanford isn’t Notre Dame’s biggest rival—not in the country, the Pac-12, or even California—but it’s been the Cardinal, not USC, that have been a recent thorn in the side of the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame has dropped four of five to the Trees after winning seven straight from 2002-2008.
The two-time defending Pac-12 champions suffered some significant losses, most notably in the front seven. Notre Dame has yet to top 20 points in four tries against Stanford under Brian Kelly. Could the Oct. 4 meeting in South Bend finally be the Irish’s time to crack the 20-point barrier?
Despite strong records, both coaches, Kelly and David Shaw, have received some criticism for their unbalanced play-calling—Kelly in favor of the pass, Shaw of the run. Will a retooled depth chart force Shaw to stray away from what has helped him go 34-7 in three seasons?
Let’s take an early look at the 2014 Cardinal, who began practice on Tuesday and conclude on Apr. 12.
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