No. 8 Notre Dame hosts No. 7 Stanford with playoff stakes
No. 7 Stanford (4-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (4-0), 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Line: Notre Dame by 5½.
Series record: Notre Dame leads, 19-13.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Stanford, which rallied from 24-7 halftime deficit to win 38-31 in OT at Oregon, has three straight victories over Notre Dame. The winner stays unbeaten and adds a notable line to a possible College Football Playoff resume.
Stanford’s talented and tall receivers vs. Notre Dame secondary. QB K.J. Costello threw for 327 yards and three scores against the Ducks - a pair to 6-foot-3 WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside and game-winner to 6-foot-7 TE Colby Parkinson. Notre Dame CB Julian Love (5-foot-11) has nine passes broken up, while CB Troy Pride Jr. and S Jalen Elliott - both 6-footers - have two interceptions each.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Stanford: RB Bryce Love. The Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2017 gained 89 yards and scored one TD against Oregon, and he has 287 yards on 46 career carries against the Irish.
Notre Dame: QB Ian Book. Coach Brian Kelly says Brandon Wimbush is still in picture, but it’s hard to imagine the starter won’t be junior Book, who passed for 325 yards, ran for 43 and accounted for five TDs against Wake Forest last week.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is 35th time two Top 10 teams have matched up at Notre Dame Stadium with Irish holding 22-11 edge despite losing the last three. . The rivalry began Jan. 1, 1925 at the Rose Bowl where Knute Rockne’s Four Horsemen team beat Pop Warner’s Ernie Nevers-led Stanford squad, 27-10, for Notre Dame’s first national championship. . Stanford and Notre Dame have met every season but two (1995, 1996) since 1988, the year of Notre Dame’s 11th and last national title. . Irish expect to have senior RB Dexter Williams, who averaged 9.2 yards per carry in 2017, back after a four-game school suspension. . Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a faculty member at Stanford, has a master’s in political science from Notre Dame, where the Augusta National member had a hole-in-one at Warren Golf Course while playing a round with Irish women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw.
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