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Opponent First Glance: Stanford Cardinal

Taking a first glance look at Notre Dame's next opponent, the Stanford Cardinal

Notre Dame wraps up the 2021 regular season Saturday night on “The Farm” at Stanford in the battle for the Legends Trophy. The Irish have already secured their fifth consecutive season with double-digit wins, and with a victory, this Notre Dame senior class would become the winningest in school history.

Expect Notre Dame to come out energized and ready to play against a Stanford team whose season has gone off the rails after early victories over USC and Oregon. Since knocking off the Ducks, Stanford has lost six games in a row and has only averaged 14.3 PPG during that span. It’s hard to believe how far the Cardinal have fallen in just a few years. Stanford, a team that built its success on physicality at the line of scrimmage, ranks last in the Pac-12 and 126th nationally in rush offense and last in the Pac-12 and 127th nationally in rush defense.

Notre Dame will look to win impressively in its last showcase for the College Football Playoff committee. In an era of high-flying, explosive offenses, one would think that the committee would find the Irish posting a fourth straight game without allowing a touchdown (for the first time since 2012) quite notable.

Game Date: Saturday, November 27
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Network: FOX
Current Line: Notre Dame -18.5, O/U 52.5

We kick off our deep dive into the Cardinal with a first glance look at the coaching staff, results, and statistical leaders.

HEAD COACH – DAVID SHAW, 11th season

Stanford Record: 93-44
Overall Record: 93-44

David Shaw took over at his alma mater after three seasons as offensive coordinator following the departure of Jim Harbaugh for the NFL. Shaw, the longest tenured African-American coach in FBS history at one school and the winningest Power Five African-American coach, has won three Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards and was named the 2017 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year. His teams have a reputation for physicality but in recent years have struggled to overcome restrictions that the university continues to place on the football program, coupled with a lack of fan support. Shaw is well-respected in the industry, though, and his name is consistently mentioned for higher-profile college or NFL jobs. But, to this point he has remained loyal to his alma mater.

Offensive Coordinator: Tavita Pritchard, 4th season
Defensive Coordinator: Lance Anderson, 8th season

2021 RESULTS (3-8)

Kansas State – Lost 24-7 (neutral site game in Arlington, TX)
at USC – Won 42-28
at Vanderbilt – Won 41-23
UCLA – Lost 35-24
Oregon – Won 31-24 (OT)
at Arizona State – Lost 28-10
at Washington State – Lost 34-31
Washington – Lost 20-13
Utah – Lost 52-7
at Oregon State – Lost 35-14
California – Lost 41-11


Screen Shot 2021-11-22 at 10.00.30 PM


Rushing: RB Nathaniel Peat – 76 att., 401 yards, 5.3 YPC, 3 TD; RB Austin Jones – 98 att., 343 yards, 3.5 YPC, 1 TD; QB Tanner McKee – 57 att., 17 yards, 0.3 YPC, 4 TD; RB E.J. Smith – 21 att., 108 yards, 5.1 YPC, 1 TD;

Passing: QB Tanner McKee – 186 com., 290 att., 64.1%, 2155 yards, 14 TD, 7 INT, 137.66 rating

Receiving: TE Benjamin Yurosek – 38 rec., 571 yards, 15.0 YPC, 2 TD; WR Elijah Higgins – 43 rec., 489 yards, 11.4 YPC, 4 TD; WR John Humphreys – 21 rec., 287 yards, 13.7 YPC, 1 TD; RB Austin Jones – 30 rec., 256 yards, 8.5 YPC, 1 TD; WR Brycen Tremayne – 19 rec., 240 yards, 12.6 YPC, 5 TD; WR Michael Wilson – 13 rec., 133 yards, 10.2 YPC, 0 TD; WR Bryce Farrell – 11 rec., 126 yards, 11.5 YPC, 1 TD

Tackles: LB Levani Damuni – 78; S Kendall Williamson – 60; LB Ricky Miezan – 59; LB Gabe Reid – 57; DE Thomas Booker – 57; CB Kyu Blu Kelly – 53; S Noah Williams – 43; LB Jacob Mangum-Farrar – 39; LB Jordan Fox – 37

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Tackles for Loss: LB Gabe Reid – 9.5; DE Thomas Booker – 5.0; LB Ricky Miezan – 5.0; LB Levani Daumani – 4.0; DT Dalyn Wade-Perry – 3.5; LB Stephen Herron – 3.0; LB Jacob Mangum-Farrar – 3.0; LB Jordan Fox – 3.0

Sacks: LB Stephen Herron – 3.0; LB Levani Daumani – 2.0; DE Tucker Fisk – 2.0; LB Ricky Miezan – 2.0; DE Thomas Booker – 1.5

Interceptions: CB Kyu Blu Kelly – 2; S Jonathan McGill – 1; CB Jimmy Wyrick – 1; LB Gabe Reid – 1  

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Irish Breakdown Content

Notre Dame 2021 Roster
Notre Dame 2021 Schedule

Notre Dame 2022 Commits Big Board: Offense
Notre Dame 2022 Commits Big Board: Defense

Notre Dame 2022 Scholarship Offers

Notre Dame 2022 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board


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