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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer

The Observer predicts Notre Dame vs. Stanford

Irish safety DJ Brown records a tackle in Notre Dame’s 16-14 loss to the Stanford Cardinal on Oct. 15, 2022.

José Sánchez Córdova, Assistant Managing Editor

I think this will be a fun way to close out the regular season after a disappointing year. Stanford is not very good, and I expect the Irish to take advantage and win convincingly. Look for big games from junior running back Audric Estimé and graduate student quarterback Sam Hartman in what could be their last games in the Blue and Gold. Al Golden’s defense will have another great night before they lose a lot of experience to the pros this offseason. Notre Dame 54, Stanford 10.

Andrew McGuinness, Sports Editor

After weeks of talking about being an “anti-fragile” program, Marcus Freeman’s team got the memo against Wake Forest. The Irish didn’t have their A-game out of the gates, but the passing game finally found its stride in the second half. It’s hard to see Stanford putting up much against an Irish defense that ranks in the top 10 in numerous categories. Notre Dame 41, Stanford 6.

J.J. Post, Associate Sports Editor

There’s no question that Troy Taylor has made Stanford, at a minimum, an entertaining watch this year. The Cardinal only have three wins, but their offense doesn’t lack for aggression. Quarterback Ashton Daniels has thrown more than 30 passes in five of the team’s last six games. Stanford’s defense has also been an entertaining watch, but for less positive reasons. The Cardinal have given up 40 or more points six times this season.

I think Stanford puts up more of a fight offensively than others here are projecting, but the Irish offense has their way against an overmatched defense. Notre Dame 45, Stanford 14

Emily DeFazio, Associate Sports Editor

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet and just hope the Irish can pull out a win for their final game of the regular season. As always, the teams thought to be easier opponents became the greatest struggles for the Irish. Where Notre Dame excelled against Wake Forest was improving after a slower start.

If the Irish can learn from early mistakes instead of allowing them to control the narrative of the game (looking at you, Louisville), then they should be able to walk away with a defining win against Stanford. Expect a master class in defense from the Irish that will allow Hartman and the offense to experiment as the game goes on. Notre Dame 45, Stanford 7.

Matthew Crow, Associate Sports Editor

I was hesitant to predict a big margin of victory for Notre Dame last week. But the Irish’s dominant performance against Wake Forest makes me more comfortable doing so now against Stanford. Notre Dame’s defense continues to impress every game, and the breakout performances from the trio of freshman wide receivers — Rico Flores Jr., Jaden Greathouse and Jordan Faison — is a highly promising development for the rest of this season as well as next fall. Even on the road, the Irish should have no problem handling the 3-8 Cardinal and continuing to build momentum toward an important bowl game that will determine if they reach 10 wins and surpass last year’s total. Notre Dame 48, Stanford 10.

Tom Zwiller, Senior Sports Writer

This is it. The last Notre Dame regular season football game. The team has struggled on the road this year. Yes, there was the 45-24 dismantling of now No. 22 NC State. But beating Duke took a herculean final drive, and the Clemson and Louisville games were disasters. 

I think this week should be much smoother sailing for the Irish. I know it’s a rivalry game, but Notre Dame is clearly the superior team. Turning to ESPN’s efficiency metrics, Stanford ranks 100th overall, 84th offensively, 113th defensively and 25th on special teams. 

Do you know who weirdly lines up with those ratings really well? Central Michigan ranks 111th overall, 86th on offense and 121st on defense. Their special teams are rated much lower, but I love this comp.

Stanford should score. But not a lot. Notre Dame 42,Stanford 7.