For the fans who thought Brian Kelly was going to come in and save Notre Dame from day one— there is still a lot to play for. The Irish come into the game at 1-2 on the heels of a heart-breaking loss at Michigan State where the Spartans faked a field goal to win the game in overtime. Stanford fans, on the other hand, will be giddy with how their season has gone. At 3-0, things are going quite well for the Cardinal. Things look especially tasty after last week’s 68-24 outburst versus Wake Forest. This game provides something you don’t regularly see much: Notre Dame, at home, is an underdog. It won’t be easy for Stanford but quarterback Andrew Luck is there to lead the way for the Pac 10 team.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is certainly not one to lose. He lost once last year with Cincinnati and has a proven track record of winning at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan. It will take time for the Irish—something their fans won’t want to hear. But, each game is different and if Notre Dame can move the ball effectively then it might have a chance against a Stanford team who has looked awfully impressive in their first three victories, highlighted by last week’s 535-yard performance and a 35-0 win over UCLA in week two. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has been outstanding this season having thrown 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Stanford Notre Dame Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
@ Notre Dame +4.5
@ Notre Dame (+170)
Stanford Notre Dame Predictions for Week 4 Game:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – It’s really tough to bet against Notre Dame at home—especially when they are getting 4.5 points. But, a large majority of America, coupled with the “east coast bias”, doesn’t quite know about the Cardinal. They have a great coach, a super quarterback and a strong belief in what they are doing. The Cardinal are tough to beat as they have a good balance. Luck has thrown for 674 yards but his running backs have rushed for 727. It’s always tougher to defend a balanced team than a team that is pass-first or run-first. Notre Dame found this out last week when they went up against a balanced Michigan State team. Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist still hasn’t looked like the quarterback we thought we’d see this year out of South Bend and it just seems like there is too much going on for Stanford, positively, to back the Irish. This is a Stanford team that is more than capable of winning the Pac 10 and a good showing at Notre Dame should really get their season going.
Game Total Prediction – You would think a team like Stanford, who put up 68 points last week versus an ACC opponent, coupled with Notre Dame’s tackling (they gave up 34 last week) would have people jumping on over 49. I’m not one of them. Stanford has good balance and does a nice job controlling the clock while Notre Dame is susceptible to the run. The Spartans ran for 203 yards last week. Look for the Cardinal to continue to move the ball well and control the clock while their defensive (41 points surrendered over three games) continues to put pressure on the quarterback.
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