October 02, 2014

No. 14 STANFORD (3-1) at No. 9 NOTRE DAME (4-0), 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Line: Stanford by 2

Series Record: Notre Dame leads 18-10.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Bragging rights in a burgeoning rivalry. Stanford is one of three schools, along with Navy and archrival Southern California, the Irish have committed to playing every season while dropping annual games with Pittsburgh, Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan. The Cardinal has won four of the past five games.

KEY MATCHUP

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson vs. the Stanford defense. Golson is the key reason the Irish are averaging 35 points a game, a pace not seen in South Bend since 2005. Golson completed 25 straight passes last week vs. Syracuse, but also threw two interceptions and fumbled away the ball twice. He can't afford to be so sloppy against a team ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense, scoring defense and pass defense that has allowed only two offensive touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Stanford: Wide receiver Ty Montgomery. He has been the spark for a struggling Cardinal offense, leading the team in receiving with 26 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He's also is averaging 21.8 yards per punt return, with one touchdown, and is averaging 29.8 yards per kickoff return.

Notre Dame: Wide receiver Will Fuller. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says Stanford's defense starts with its corners, so the Irish need to put pressure on them. Fuller is Notre Dame's best deep threat with 25 catches for 344 yards. One corner he likely will face is Alex Carter, whose father, Tom, was a first-round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 1993.

FACTS & FIGURES

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is 1-3 against the Cardinal. The only other Irish coaches with losing records against Stanford are Bob Davie (2-3) and Hugh Devore (0-1). ... Stanford has allowed only four plays of 20 or more yards this season. ... Notre Dame has scored at least 30 points in its opening four games, the first time it's done that since 1943. ... Stanford has played 27 straight games without allowing an opponent to score 30 or more points.

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