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Brian Kelly And Notre Dame Don't Plan To Overlook Stanford

Despite its 3-8 record, Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly don't plan to overlook Stanford

Playing Stanford in Palo Alto on Saturday after Thanksgiving is never easy, and according to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly it doesn’t matter what the Cardinal's (3-8) record is for this game. In this instance Stanford is 3-8 and riding a six-game losing streak, including three straight by at least 21 points.

Notre Dame (10-1), on the other hand, has won six straight and it’s possibly trending toward a spot in the College Football Playoffs. The Irish have won each of their last five games by double figures.

There is always the possibility that Stanford finds something like it did in a 31-24 overtime win over Oregon back on October 2, the same day the Irish lost to Cincinnati.

Stanford also owns a convincing 42-28 win over USC, which resulted in Trojan head coach Clay Helton being fired shortly after.

There are “other” variables to contend with for the Irish, who play the Cardinal at 8 PM EST on Fox.

It’s a short week of practice because of Thanksgiving, and playing on the West Coast with the three-hour time difference after a long flight is a challenge.

And there is history. It’s not good against the Cardinal.

Notre Dame is 4-6 against Stanford under head coach Brian Kelly. The only win at Stanford came in 2019, a 45-24 victory for the Irish.

Georgia Tech arrived in South Bend as a three-win team hoping to play well against a quality team. Notre Dame arrives in California against a three-win team that has already defeated a top 20 team.

Kelly believes Stanford remains dangerous, even after losing 41-11 to California last weekend. The Primary reason is 6-6, 235-pound quarterback Tanner McKee, who has shown flashes of being the Top 100 recruit he was in the 2018 recruiting class.

“The quarterback is the key,” Kelly said. “He’s going to be a really, really good quarterback. He has shown some outstanding traits. He’s accurate with the football. He throws a great long ball. He’s a good decision-maker and he’s great in the pocket. When he’s playing well and he’s in the game, they have a chance to win.”

When Stanford has won this year it’s been due to McKee's passing. In the upset over Oregon, McKee was 20-36 passing for 230 yards with three touchdowns. McKee completed 67.3% of his throws and tossed four touchdowns (with no interceptions) in wins over USC and Vanderbilt.

According to Kelly, Stanford still tries to play a physical brand of football. 

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“They aren’t as effective running the football,” Kelly said. “They are still a very dangerous offense when they are balanced and it can be difficult to defend.”

Stanford averages just 89.7 rushing yards per game this season, but it has gone for 156.3 yards per game in its three wins, including 204 yards in the 41-23 victory over Vanderbilt.

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