Preview: Notre Dame at Stanford

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California

Notre Dame can strengthen its case for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win Saturday at Stanford, which needs a victory to keep alive its slim playoff hopes. The injury-depleted Fighting Irish are sixth in the CFP rankings following six straight wins, while No. 9 Stanford clinched the Pac-12 North title with last week’s 35-22 win over California.

The Fighting Irish overcame five turnovers to beat Boston College 19-16 last week and will need a much-improved effort against Stanford, which must defeat Notre Dame and win its conference title game on Dec. 5 to have a shot at the playoff. Notre Dame will be without cornerback KeiVarae Russell (broken leg) and running back C.J. Prosise (ankle) after both starters were injured last week. Russell, who is second on the team in tackles, will be missed against an offense that averages 36.8 points and boasts a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Christian McCaffrey. "If anybody has seen a running back, a football player better than Christian McCaffrey this year, tell me. Show him to me,” Cardinal coach David Shaw told reporters. “I haven't seen anybody in America like this kid. He’s truly, truly special.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Stanford -4

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (10-1): The Fighting Irish remained among the top 35 nationally in scoring and total offense despite a shaky outing against Boston College, when quarterback DeShone Kizer threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns along with three interceptions. Stanford ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense and presents a stronger test for Notre Dame, which has freshman Josh Adams (589 rushing yards) ready to start in place of Prosise. Starting linebacker James Onwualu will miss his second straight contest due to a knee injury, but defensive tackle Daniel Cage should return after missing two games with a concussion.

ABOUT STANFORD (9-2): McCaffrey bolstered his Heisman campaign with a Cardinal-record 389 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against Cal as Stanford scored at least 30 points for the 10th straight game. Linebacker Blake Martinez is tied for 15th in the nation with 9.9 tackles per game, but the defense likely will be without starting cornerback Ronnie Harris (ankle) for the second straight contest. Stanford, which will be without starting fullback Daniel Marx for the rest of the season due to a leg injury suffered against Cal, leads the nation in time of possession at 35:18 and will face either UCLA or USC in the conference title game.


1. Notre Dame holds a 19-10 advantage in the all-time series but is 6-7 at Stanford.

2. McCaffrey needs 444 all-purpose yards to break Barry Sanders' single-season FBS record of 3,250 set in 1988.

3. Notre Dame is 6-3 against Pac-12 opponents since 2012, including a 41-31 triumph over USC on Oct. 17.

PREDICTION: Stanford 27, Notre Dame 24

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Notre Dame 10-1 W6 34.6 21.0 7-0 3-1 10-1 0-0 0-0
Stanford 9-2 W1 36.8 22.0 5-1 4-1 7-2 0-0 8-1

Last Meeting

Notre Dame Stanford
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/4/14 STAN 14 ND 17 370 129 241 205 47 158

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
ND E. Golson 46.5 241 2 1
STAN K. Hogan 50.0 158 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
ND C. McDaniel 15 41 2.7 0
STAN R. Wright 8 29 3.6 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
ND C. Brown 4 60 15.0 1
STAN D. Cajuste 5 68 13.6 0
TDs Player TD
ND C. Brown 1
STAN K. Hogan 1
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
ND D. Kizer 64.3 2362 18 9
STAN K. Hogan 67.2 2231 19 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
ND C. Prosise 157 1029 6.6 11
STAN C. McCaffrey 260 1546 5.9 7
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
ND W. Fuller 50 1009 20.2 12
STAN M. Rector 27 423 15.7 4
TDs Player TD
ND W. Fuller 12
STAN R. Wright 13

Quickchart Matchup

Notre Dame Off vs  Stanford Def
466.4 yards
361.7 yards
5.5 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
8.9 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt
Stanford Off vs  Notre Dame Def
438.8 yards
357 yards
5.2 yards/rush
4.6 yards/rush
8.8 yards/attempt
6.5 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Notre Dame Overall Stanford
10-1-0 W/L 9-2-0
7-4-0 ATS 8-3-0
5-6-0 O/U 5-6-0
34.6 Pts For 36.8
21.0 Pts Against 22.0
Notre Dame A/H Stanford
3-1 W/L 5-1
2-2-0 ATS 5-1-0
2-2-0 O/U 3-3-0
30.5 Pts For 40.7
25.2 Pts Against 22.2
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