Week five is here and the Irish are sitting at 4-0 after a dominating win over Wake Forest a week ago. This week, Notre Dame football is back in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus and preparing for their Top-10 matchup vs No. 7 Stanford this Saturday.
STANFORD WEEK IS HERE FOR NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL!
After three straight weeks of what was considered a softer part of the schedule, Notre Dame is back in the spotlight this week vs. rival Stanford. It’s no question that this is the biggest game of the season in terms of playoff implications. With the struggles Virginia Tech, FSU, and USC are facing, this week’s matchup will most likely be the highest ranked opponent the Irish will face the rest of the season. A victory this week gives the Irish two great wins on their resume and allows them to control their own destiny moving forward.
If history has taught us anything recently, it is that Notre Dame and Stanford play some absolute classics — and that Stanford has Notre Dame’s number. Brian Kelly is 2-6 vs the Cardinals in his career. Those two victories of course being the legendary goal line stand in 2012 and the last second, 4th down touchdown pass from Everett Golson to Ben Koyack in 2014. Last season’s 38-20 loss came at the hands of an epic meltdown in the 4th quarter after the Irish were leading 20-17.
This will be the first top-10 matchup in South Bend since 2005 and the first top-8 matchup at Notre Dame Stadium since 1996 when the No. 4 Irish faced No. 5 Ohio State.
It is safe to say this is one of the most important home games of Brian Kelly’s career and by far one of the biggest opportunities for Notre Dame this season. Win and keep the College Football Playoff hopes alive or lose and deal with another disappointing loss that most likely knocks the Irish out of postseason contention.
Here are the three biggest storylines for this week’s matchup.