Staff Picks: Stanford @ Notre Dame

Irish Illustrated’s staff gives its predictions for Saturday’s prime time tussle with the Stanford Cardinal.

To access Tim Prister’s official game preview, click here:

Pete Sampson

A DeShone Kizer bounce back performance is what I feel best about for Saturday night after that miserable afternoon in Raleigh. Considering Stanford has been down its top two corners the past two weeks, a 300-yard, three-touchdown night feels like a safe bet.

What’s less certain is how the Irish defense performs against a real offense after the gimmicks of Syracuse and the hurricane at N.C. State. The hunch, which goes against a mountain of evidence, is Notre Dame will play well against the underwhelming Cardinal that lacks authority on the offensive line.

The intangibles are a wash as neither program feels likely to kick it in, but the quarterback edge and home field get Notre Dame over the line.

Notre Dame 28 Stanford 26
2016 Predictions: 2-4

Tim O’Malley

Notre Dame needs it. My gut instinct tells me they’ll get it, and Brian Kelly’s Thursday commentary furthered that feeling of hope.

But Stanford needs it, too. Logic, and the reality that head coach David Shaw has never lost three games in a row, tells me the Cardinal are the sharp pick.

Basically I can’t pick Notre Dame to beat a team of moderate value until they prove capable of such a thing (it last happened in Pittsburgh on November 7, 2015), and though Stanford might finish with four, five, or even six losses this season, the Cardinal program has been a rock over the last seven years.
They’re not going easily into the South Bend night.

I expect both teams to play exceptionally hard for 60 minutes and for the contest to be decided in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, just as it was in 2012, 2014, and last November.

Stanford 30 Notre Dame 27
2016 Predictions: 3-3

Jack Freeman

This game looks like another toss up to me. Both Stanford and Notre Dame are not as good as expected and look to slow down their slip into mediocrity with a win this Saturday.  Once again I’ll leave my prediction to chance with a best out of three coin flip,

Heads it’s Notre Dame and tails it’s Stanford - let the games begin:
1. Stanford
2. Notre Dame
3. Notre Dame

Notre Dame 31 Stanford 28
2016 Predictions: 3-3

Steve Hare

It isn’t likely that Notre Dame’s defense is going to play any better than it has all season, so this is bound to be a back and forth, high scoring game. The Irish have to hope the Stanford team that got drilled by Washington State—a team that gave up 45 points in a loss to Eastern Washington—is the one that travels to South Bend, rather than the one that beat USC and UCLA in back to back weeks. Either way, Notre Dame has its work cut out for it.

Stanford 38 Notre Dame 34
2016 Predictions: 2-4

Jake Brown

Let's start by saying I have no more faith in my ability to make a prediction about this team. So take just about everything that's written next with an extreme grain of salt. Anyway, it's a game I think the Irish should be able to win. At home, big rivalry, Stanford is a shell of itself. Then again, every time I've thought that this season they've lost. Fortunately, the weather will be good enough to throw at will. And the Cardinal have been without some key defenders... 

Notre Dame 31 Stanford 30
2016 Predictions: 2-4

Len Clark (Multi-Media Contributor)

Notre Dame (2-4) has their back up against the wall and needs a win.  Stanford (3-2) is slumping and may be without the services of running back Christian McCaffrey.  Despite the records, this will be a physical game. 

What is needed for an Irish win?  Notre Dame must show improvement on the offensive line and special teams, while defense needs to continue to build confidence especially in the secondary.  QB DeShone Kizer will bounce back from the NC State loss and should challenge the Cardinal secondary. 

What still needs to be addressed is the Irish running game.  Can the Irish effectively run the ball to open up the passing game? If the Irish can move the ball with a balanced offensive attack and be put in a position to win, then the Irish prevail.

Notre Dame 35 Stanford 24
2016 Predictions: 1-2 Top Stories