Stanford Cardinal (4-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 29, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3.5 -- Over/Under:
The 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal will travel to Norte Dame Stadium to take on the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish this upcoming Saturday night in College Football action.
The 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal improved to 4-0 on the season after defeating the 20th ranked Oregon Ducks, 38-31, this past Saturday. In an amazing comeback, Stanford fought back from a double digit deficit with under four minutes to play in regulation to force OT, and after opening the OT period with a TD, securing the victory after Oregon’s Justin Herbert’s pass was intercepted on 4th down. Stanford was outgained by a 524-398 margin however, did win the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin. Leading the way for the Cardinal was K.J. Costello who completed 19 of 26 passes for 327 yards and 3 TD’s. On the season, Stanford is averaging 29.0 ppg on 368.3 total yards per game (264.0 passing yds/g; 104.3 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Stanford has been led by K.J. Costello who has completed 64.0% of his passes for 10 TD & 3 INT while averaging 254.0 passing yds/g game. The top receivers for the Cardinal have been JJ Arcega-Whiteside (4.3 rec/g; 102.0 yds/g; 7 TD), Kaden Smith (4.5 rec/g; 64.5 yds/g), and Colby Parkinson (2.0 rec/g; 25.8 yds/g; 3 TD). The Stanford back field has been led by Bryce Love who although isn’t putting up the same numbers as we saw last year, is still very productive in the backfield as he has 2 TD’s on the season and is averaging 84.7 rushing yds/g on 19.7 att/g. Defensively, Stanford is holding their opponents to an average of 13.5 ppg on 356.8 total yards per game (233.8 passing yds/g; 123.0 rushing yds/g).
The 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish improved to 4-0 on the season after defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 56-27, this past Saturday. Notre Dame allowed Wake Forest to hand around early in this one however, had no problem pulling away for the victory after 28 unanswered points gave the Fighting Irish a 49-13 lead with 4:18 left in regulation. Notre Dame outgained Wake Forest by a 566-398 margin and held Wake Forest to just 139 passing yards in the victory. Leading the way for the Fighting Irish was QB Ian Book who completed 25 of 34 passes for 325 yards and 2 TD’s while also adding 43 yards and 3 TD on the ground. On the season, Notre Dame is averaging 31.5 ppg on 415.5 total yards per game (231.8 passing yds/g; 183.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Notre Dame recently changed their starting QB’s from Brandon Wimbush (55.3 Comp %; 1 TD; 4 INT; 196.3 passing yds/g) to Ian Book, who seem to provide Notre Dame with the offensive spark they were looking for in his monster performance agianst Wake Forest. The leading receivers for the Fighting Irish have been Miles Boykin (2.3 rec/g; 41.8 yds/g), Chase Claypool (2.8 rec/g; 27.8 yds/g; TD), and Chris Finke (3.5 rec/g; 35.5 yds/g; TD). Leading the way for the Fighting Irish backfield has been the duo of Tony Jones Jr. (11.5 att/g; 65.8 yds/g; 3 TD) and Jafar Armstrong (11.8 att/g; 61.3 yds/g; 5 TD). Notre Dame should also have Dexter Williams back in the lineup this weekend. Defensively, Notre Dame is holding their opponents to an average of 19.3 ppg on 368.5 total yards per game (223.5 passing yds/g; 145.0 rushing yds/g).
The Cardinal are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Fighting Irish are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win however, are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
I’ve been impressed with Stanford this season as even with out Bryce Love being at his best, the Cardinal have used a solid passing attack that ranks 47th in College Football and their 10th ranked scoring defense to pick up impressive wins against San Diego State, USC, and Oregon. Notre Dame bounced back with less than stellar performances against Ball State and Vanderbilt to dominate Wake Forest and if their offense can continue to produce like we saw under QB Ian Book, they are lined up to have a very good rest of their season. Notre Dame will have the advantage playing at home, however, I just think Stanford is a bit better on both sides of the ball and as I think this is going to be a close game, I’ll take the Cardinal and the points.