Five Answers: Stanford

We answer the five questions posed prior to Notre Dame and Stanford's epic battle last weekend in South Bend.

1 - Can the Cardinal defeat both USC and Notre Dame for a fourth straight season?

No, the Irish held on and prevailed against the Cardinal handing them a loss they will remember for years to come.

2- Can the Irish offensive line protect the quarterback against the Cardinal?

No, the Irish gave up four sacks and allowed the Cardinal to post nine quarterback hurries during one of the more physical games the Irish have played in the past few years.

3 - Can the Irish defense get pressure on quarterback Josh Nunes?

The Irish got some pressure as they posted five quarterback hurries. However, posting one sack is not what you can call real pressure.

4 - Will Brian Kelly look to air it out or pound the ground game against Stanford?

Kelly looked to be physical up front and rushed the ball 44 times during the day picking up 200 rushing yards. However, once 24 yards were removed from the sacks given up and a few other yards loss during the game, the Irish ended up with 150 net rushing yards and only 184 passing yards on 16-of-28 attempts. Both Irish scores came by the air. Overall Kelly stayed balanced with his offense.

5 - Can the Irish defense continue shutting down opponents in the red-zone?

Yes!!!!! As we pointed out this looked to be the most relevant of our five questions going into the game and when the final whistle blew, it was the Irish defense stopping Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor inches short of punching in another touchdown leaving the Cardinal an extra point away from extending the game into a second overtime. Top Stories