#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #9 Stanford Cardinal
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Stanford Stadium – Stanford, California
Opening Line: Stanford -3 1/2
Current Line: Stanford -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 55 1/2
Current Total: 57
Opening Money Line: Stanford -180 / Notre Dame +160
Current Money Line: Stanford -160 / Notre Dame +140
The 10-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish dropped out of the top four of the playoff rankings to #6 after a narrow 19-16 win over Boston College last week. The Fighting Irish look to get back into the playoffs but it won’t be easy. Notre Dame travels to the 9-2 Stanford Cardinal Saturday night. Stanford is #9 in the playoff rankings. The Cardinal are 8-1 in the Pac 12 North and have already clinched a spot in the Pac 12 Championship game next week.
Notre Dame leads the series 19-10 against Stanford, but the Cardinal are 7-6 at home. The series dates back to 1925. Notre Dame won last year in South Bend 17-14.
The Fighting Irish are coached by Brian Kelly. Notre Dame has a road loss at #1 Clemson 24-22. Notre Dame has home wins over Texas 38-3, Georgia Tech 30-22, Massachusetts 62-27, Navy 41-24, USC 41-31, and Wake Forest 28-7. The Fighting Irish also have road wins over Virginia 34-27, Temple 24-20 and Pittsburgh 42-30. Last week, Notre Dame beat Boston College at Fenway Park in Boston. It was officially a home game for the Irish.
Notre Dame was a 14.5 point favorite against Boston College and the total was 43. Notre Dame led 19-3 early in the fourth, but Boston College scored two touchdowns to pull within 19-16 with 54 seconds left. The Eagles were unable to recover the onside kick and Notre Dame held on for the win. The Irish overcame 5 turnovers in a sloppy game. Notre Dame is 7-4 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.
Stanford is coached by David Shaw. The Cardinal have losses at Northwestern 16-6 and at home against Oregon 38-36. Stanford has home wins over UCF 31-7, Arizona 55-17, UCLA 56-35, Washington 31-14 and California 35-22 last week, along with road wins at USC 41-31, Oregon State 42-24, Washington State 30-28 and Colorado 42-10.
Stanford was a 10 point favorite against California and the total was 63. The Cardinal led 21-6 at halftime. The Golden Bears pulled to within 21-16 by the end of the third. However, Stanford put the game out of reach with two fourth quarter touchdowns. Cal had almost 500 total yards to 356 for Stanford. The Cardinal are 8-3 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.
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Notre Dame is outscoring teams 35-21 this season. Notre Dame is in the top 31 in both categories. The Fighting Irish average 466 yards per game on offense including 258 passing and 208 rushing yards. The Fighting Irish are in the top 40 nationally in all three categories. On defense, Notre Dame is allowing 357 yards per game including 190 passing and 167 rushing yards. Notre Dame has forced 13 turnovers and has 17 of their own. The Fighting Irish average 46 penalty yards per game and opponents average 54. Notre Dame is 63/144 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 61/179. The Irish have forced 22 sacks and allowed 22 of their own. Notre Dame is 72/92 scoring in the red zone with 54 touchdowns and opponents are 42/58 with 36 touchdowns. The Fighting Irish have 2 punt returns for a touchdown and a pick six.
Quarterback DeShone Kizer has passed for 2,362 yard with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions, along with 371 rushing yards on 103 carries with 8 touchdowns. Malik Zaire threw for 428 yards with 4 touchdowns, and rushed 19 times for 103 yards. He is out for the season with a broken ankle.
Running back C.J. Prosise has 156 carries for 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 26 catches for 308 yards and a touchdown. He is doubtful with an ankle injury. Josh Adams has 85 carries for 589 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Tarean Folston is out for the season with a torn ACL
Receiver Will Fuller has 50 catches for 1,009 yards and 12 touchdowns. Chris Brown has 43 catches for 555 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a shoulder injury. Amir Carlisle has 29 catches for 337 yards and a touchdown. Torii Hunter, Jr. has 22 catches for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns. Alize Jones and Corey Robinson have 11 catches each. Tight end Durham Smythe is out for the season with knee and shoulder injuries. He had a touchdown catch. Five defensive players are on the injury report.
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Stanford is outscoring teams 37-22 this season. The Cardinal are #21 in scoring and #37 in points allowed. Stanford averages 439 yards per game on offense including 211 passing and 228 rushing yards. The Cardinal are #38 in total offense and #16 in rushing. On defense, Stanford is allowing 362 yards per game including 232 passing yards and 130 rushing yards. The Cardinal are in the top 40 in total and rush defense nationally. Stanford has forced 10 turnovers but has 12 of their own. The Cardinal average 47 penalty yards per game and opponents average 51. Stanford is 83/158 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 68/173. The Cardinal have forced 23 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Stanford is 42/48 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns and opponents are 33/37 with 17 touchdowns. The Cardinal have a pick six and a kick return for a touchdown.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan has completed 67.2% of his passes for 2,231 yards with 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 64 carries for 276 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Running back Christian McCaffrey has 260 carries for 1,546 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 34 catches for 416 yards and 3 touchdowns. Barry Sanders, Jr. has 48 carries for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns. Remound Wright has 65 carries for 176 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Daniel Marx is out for the season.
Receiver Michael Rector has 27 catches for 423 yards and 7 touchdowns. Austin Hooper has 26 catches for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bryce Love has 14 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown, plus 182rushing yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Devon Cajuste has 20 catches for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Notre Dame is 4-0 ATS after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 6-1 against teams with winning records, 4-1 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 6-2 against Pac 12 teams, and 1-7 in November. The underdog is 7-3 ATS in this series recently. The Fighting Irish are 6-2 ATS on the road in this series recently.
Stanford is 8-2 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1 in November, 7-2 after a cover, and against teams with winning records, 6-2 against teams with winning road records, 21-8 after passing for less than 170 yards, 28-11-1 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 12-5 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 38-17 at home and on grass, 15-7 in non-conference games, and 47-23-1 overall. The last 5 games in this series have gone under the total.
It is amazing that Notre Dame is even in playoff contention with all the injuries they have suffered. It is a testament to the coaching ability of Brian Kelly. Still losing Prosise could be the last straw. I think Stanford wins a low scoring game at home.