The Stanford Cardinal travel to South Bend as they hope to find a more comfortable win than they did in Eugene last week. They stole one against the Oregon Ducks, as they staged what should have been an impossible comeback. There are a series of things that went wrong for Oregon in that game, notably stepping out of bounds on the 1-yard line, and then proceed to throw the ball away on a bad snap and give a touchdown to Stanford for almost a 100-yard play.
Ducks’ fans may want to complain about that call on the 1-yard line, and as much as I criticize Pac-12 officiating every week, they got it right on that play. The runners foot touched the pylon and the ball didn’t cross the goal line yet, thus, the play is dead at that point. Ducks’ fans should be more irritated that their center couldn’t snap the ball properly.
If he does, then they win regardless if they score a touchdown there or not. A field goal would have been fine, or even give the ball to Stanford on their own 1-yard line. The next mistake was a fumble with a little over a minute left on the clock. Oregon could have just taken knees and ran the clock out, but they decided to run and fumble. Another crucial mistake that they can’t blame on the refs.
In the end, it was Stanford who came out of Eugene like bandits and a 38-31 win in overtime. They head back on the road to South Bend, where the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be waiting. The Irish are coming off a blowout win over Wake Forest, 56-27. Brian Kelly got an outstand performance from his quarterback, Ian Book. Book passed for 325 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 3 touchdowns rushing on the ground.
Kelly made the choice to go with Book instead of Brandon Wimbush and the decision paid off. Book will look to cement his status as the starter against Stanford on Saturday night. Head below for our free Stanford vs. Notre Dame pick from South Bend on Saturday night.
Stanford Cardinal vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Notre Dame -5.5(-105)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Stanford vs. Notre Dame Pick:
There is no way that Stanford should have won that game last week. If Oregon didn’t take out the noose and choked themselves at the end, Stanford were heading to Notre Dame with a loss on their resume. Herbert and Oregon moved the ball on Stanford. Herbert passed for 346 yards and the running game had 201 yards rushing.
Going into this season, the Stanford defense especially up-front, was the one area of concern for the Cardinal. The Ducks made sure to exploit it but that still wasn’t enough. Oregon outgained Stanford by 126 yards, so it was a devastating blow for the Ducks. They did everything but finish the game.
After the Ducks gave Stanford a layup, the Cardinal have to put that in the past and focus on Notre Dame. They can’t go into this week thinking that they got away with one so they can let up. This is a Fighting Irish team that haven’t lost to a ranked team at home since 2013, which was a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Notre Dame already have a win against Michigan at home. The Wolverines have a better defense than the Cardinal are going to throw at them Saturday night. Stanford are on a three-game winning streak over Notre Dame, though, dating back to a 38-36 win in Palo Alto in 2015. Stanford came into South Bend as an unranked opponent and won 17-10.
The Cardinal do not have that same defense, however. Before last week, it may have looked like the same old defense, but at closer look, they didn’t play anybody yet. Stanford held San Diego State to 10 points, USC to 3, and UC Davis to 10 points. The Trojans’ freshman quarterback was their biggest challenge, before Herbert made it look easy for 346 yards. Stanford got pushed back to 57th in the country, with an average of 357 yards allowed per game on the season.
Bryce Love hasn’t looked the same thus far in 2018. He is coming off an injury, which may still be bothering him. He was held to 89 yards against the Ducks last week, and Oregon outgained Stanford by 107 yards on the ground. Costello has proven that the Stanford offense is more than just Love, though. He passed for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Ducks. Costello has already notched 10 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions.
Expect Stanford to see the same defense that Michigan saw in Week 1. Shea Patterson was held to 227 yards with an interception and no touchdowns. Stanford is likely going to come out sluggish after that big win on the road and on the road in consecutive games against a physical opponent. The line movement will make you question this matchup as well.
The public is on Stanford and they likely will continue to be, yet the spread has gone up from the opening line of 3.5. I like Notre Dame here in what is going to be a tough environment to play in two weeks in a row for Stanford. The Irish won’t shoot themselves in the foot three times like Oregon did last week.