Notre Dame wasn’t able to notch a signature win over a Pac-12 team earlier this season, but it does this weekend when it travels to take on Stanford.
The Cardinal is a seven-point favorite in this game. Several people consider that a steal, but those people need to be careful about betting too much on this game.
For the Irish, it all comes down to turnovers. In their three losses this season, Notre Dame lost the turnover battle 13-3. If it weren’t for those costly miscues, specifically when it comes in the red zone, this team would easily be 10-1 and possibly 11-0.
Almost every voter is really high on Stanford this season. Yes, Andrew Luck is an amazing quarterback, but there are a lot of holes on this team from a defensive standpoint.
The team is not great against the pass by any stretch of the imagination. They rank 78th in yards allowed through the air per game, and have given up an average of 40 points per game to the three best offensive teams they’ve played this season.
Notre Dame would replace Washington as the third-best offensive team, scoring 32 points per game, which ranks 37th in the country.
However, the Irish’s defense is also better than advertised. They rank in the top fourth of the country in yards and points allowed per game and have given up 23 or less points in eight of 11 games this season.
With the game being played at Stanford, an upset will be harder to come by for Brian Kelly’s team. However, it is far from out of the question. If Tommy Rees and Cierre Wood can hold on to the football, this game should come down to less than a touchdown.
If not, Stanford could go on a rout.
Since the Cardinal ranks right in the middle (nationally) in turnovers gained, the best bet for this game is to go with your gut. Mine says Notre Dame.