Three keys: Notre Dame vs. Stanford

Three keys: Notre Dame vs. Stanford
November 29, 2013, 9:45 am
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1. Don't turn the ball over. Any interception or fumble will be ill-timed for Notre Dame on Saturday. If Notre Dame has any chance of winning, they'll have to play a spotless game — probably the cleanest game they've played all year — and that starts with having zero turnovers.

2. Match Stanford's physicality. This has been a mantra of Brian Kelly for the last week — he wants so-called "tough gentlemen," guys who are good people and represent the university well off the field but have a mean streak on gameday. It's the kind of player Stanford has perfected in developing under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw, and anything less than a physical performance from Notre Dame on Saturday will doom the Irish.

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3. Get lucky. Yeah, this is a key. Stanford has proven to be a far better team than Notre Dame this year and hasn't lost at home since 2011. Both their losses this year came on the road and were by six and three points, and if Notre Dame is to win the game it'll likely be by a close margin. With that in mind, getting a bounce or two to go their way would go a long way on Saturday.

Prediction: Stanford 34, Notre Dame 17