The last time Notre Dame and Stanford played each other with undefeated records was the first-ever meeting between the two teams at the 1925 Rose Bowl, a 27-10 victory for Knute Rockne over Pop Warner. It’s only September and a national championship isn’t on the line, but the stakes are as high as they’ve been in years for this rivalry.
Notre Dame and Stanford are both in the top 10 (also a first for this series), and either team has the opportunity to carry this win as an anchor for its College Football Playoff profile. For the Irish, who will likely be favorites of a touchdown or more for the remainder of its schedule, the quality win up for grabs on Saturday night is the key to making any kind of playoff run in 2018. Stanford will still have the conference championship race as a chance to play its way in, but there’s a not a single Pac-12 champ in the two-division era that has finished with an undefeated league record.
And all of this on the line in a series that has been split 7-7 since 2004 with just an 18-point total difference between the two teams across that timespan.
Notre Dame vs Stanford Watch Online
Stanford: Do the Cardinal have anything left in the tank? Going on the road to play Notre Dame in South Bend one week after an epic overtime win against Oregon in Eugene is a daunting task. It’s possible that we will see an effect of that physical and/or emotional drain at some point on Saturday night, but what if we don’t? Quarterback K.J. Costello’s composure throughout the comeback and play in the crucial moments was encouraging, particularly as you figure there’s not only this game against the Irish but other tough road environments at Arizona State and Washington later in the season. Bryce Love remains among the most talented players in the entire country, but the story of Stanford’s offense so far this season has been Costello’s emergence as one the Pac-12 best quarterbacks.
Notre Dame: While Brian Kelly maintains that there will be opportunities for both Ian Book and Brandon Wimbush to contribute, last week’s offensive explosion against Wake Forest seemed to usher in a permanent change at starting quarterback. Book’s five-touchdown performance appeared to bring an answer to one of the biggest questions and concerns regarding Notre Dame’s ceiling this year. Now with a hot hand at QB and a defense that has led the way for the much of the season, the Irish are ready for their biggest test of the season.
How to Watch #7 Notre Dame vs. #8 Stanford
It’s a top-10 clash Saturday in South Bend as No. 7 Stanford takes on No. 8 Notre Dame in a game with potential College Football Playoff implications.
Game details, how to watch and live updates below:
What: No. 7 Stanford Cardinal (4-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0)
When: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m. PT
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana
TV channel: NBC
Live stream: NBC Sports app or NBCSports.com
Line: ND -5.5
Series history: Notre Dame leads the all-time series 18-13, though Stanford has won three in a row in the series.
Stanford vs. Notre Dame news:
- Dexter Williams will play for the first time this season — and that’s a major boost to the Notre Dame backfield.
Dexter Williams has been “suspended” for the last 4 weeks, but it seems that whatever he did, he is completely out of the dog house. Brian Kelly has raved about his work in the off season and noted in his press conference that we should, “expect him to do something for us this week”. The biggest questions are not surrounding his abilities, but exactly how much he is going to be involved in the game plan this week. Unlike an injury, he will not be limited and will be extremely hungry after watching other carry the load in his absence.
- KJ Costello brings a unique energy to the Stanford offense — thanks, in part, to his insane touch downfield.
- It’s still early, but Book’s career success rate as a passer rivals plenty of former college stars — and way outpaces his predecessor.
- Let’s review just how ridiculous Stanford’s comeback win over Oregon was, shall we?
What’s going on with Bryce Love?
Love made himself a Heisman frontrunner in 2017 with an absurd 2,118-yard, 19-touchdown campaign. He’s been unable to follow up on that hype one month into the 2018 season, rushing for a shade under 85 yards per game as a senior. Even worse, his yards per carry have been nearly cut in half — down to 4.3 after skyrocketing to 8.1 last fall.
San Diego State shut him down to the tune of 29 yards on 16 carries in Week 1, and while he’s been better since he’s still not the player who earned Pac-12 player of the year honors as a junior. On Saturday, he’ll face a Notre Dame defense that’s been stingy to ballcarriers in ‘18 — the Irish are allowing just 3.45 yards per carry through four games this fall.
Stanford vs. Notre Dame prediction:
S&P+ hated the Cardinal’s chances even before Love got off to a rocky start. The numbers pegged Stanford for a double-digit loss in Indiana back in the preseason. With Book looking legit early in his starting career, it looks Saturday will be Stanford’s first loss of the season.
Stanford vs. Notre Dame odds
College football doesn’t get much better than when top-10 teams clash. That’s exactly what’s on tap Saturday when the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish host the seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Kickoff from Notre Dame Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Cardinal are coming off a heart-pounding overtime thriller against Oregon, while the Irish routed Wake Forest. The Fighting Irish opened as 3.5-point favorites and are now laying 5.5 in the latest Notre Dame vs. Stanford odds. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas believes will be scored, has ballooned from 50 to 52.5. Before you lock in your Notre Dame vs. Stanford picks, be sure to check out what SportsLine college football expert Emory Hunt has to say.
Hunt is the founder of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of college football since 2007. Loaded with decades of college football expertise, including playing running back at Louisiana-Lafayette, Hunt is an incredible 7-2 in his previous nine picks against the spread involving Stanford. Now, Hunt has scrutinized Stanford vs. Notre Dame from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he’s revealing only at SportsLine.
Hunt is well aware that Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, who had been inconsistent this season, is coming off an outstanding performance in Eugene. The junior signal caller was 19 for 26 for 327 yards and three touchdowns last week against Oregon. For the season, he has 1,056 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes.
Heisman hopeful running back Bryce Love was back on the field against the Ducks after missing the previous game against UC Davis with an undisclosed injury. Love has yet to show off his dynamic play-making abilities this season. He has 59 carries for 254 yards — just 4.3 per carry — and two touchdowns, well behind the pace he set last season. But he did show some of that amazing spark in Oregon with a nifty 22-yard score that helped rally Stanford back into the game.
Just because Stanford has come out hot doesn’t mean it will stay within the spread Saturday.
Notre Dame’s offense showed plenty of life under new quarterback Ian Book, who was nothing short of spectacular against the Demon Deacons. He completed nearly 75 percent of his pass attempts for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for three more scores as part of his 43-yard rushing performance. Book got plenty of help from the backfield tandem of Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong. The two backs combined for 137 rushing yards and three scores against Wake.
We can tell you Hunt is leaning toward the under, but he has uncovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing it over at SportsLine.
College Football Notre Dame Vs. Stanford Live Stream
Notre Dame faces its toughest test of the season Saturday when it hosts No. 7 Stanford in a game that could have huge implications on the first College Football Playoff rankings later in the year. The No. 8-ranked Fighting Irish are coming off a statement win over Wake Forest led by quarterback Ian Book, who was making his first start of the season. He will face a much more difficult challenge against the Cardinal, who are coming off an impressive comeback victory over Oregon last week.