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Stanford

vs.

Notre Dame

College Football Pick

10/15/16

It was only a year ago that this matchup had playoff implications. And how quickly things have changed. Stanford has fallen off a ton in the last couple games and is no longer the Pac-12 favorite or any kind of favorite even against a Notre Dame team that already has four losses. The Fighting Irish are a -3 point home favorite at Betonline.

Notre Dame is on a brutal stretch at the moment and it all culminated with a 10-3 loss at NC State last weekend, which was more or less played in a lake due to the hurricane. The Irish don't look all that threatening having already lost to two mediocre ACC teams, but they still come into this one as favorites.

And that's made possible by Stanford losing its last two games by a combined 86-22 score line. The Cardinal looked ready for another Pac-12 run early on with wins against USC and UCLA, but a couple games against the state of Washington have changed that headline.

This was a top-10 matchup only a year ago that resulted in Stanford winning 38-36 in a fun game. However, this one is set to be anything but fun for two teams looking for a re-do on the season.

The Cardinal were supposed to be led by their defense, but that has completely failed them the last two games and without a dynamic offense, they don't have enough. Notre Dame has struggled mightily, but they've at least been able to put points on the board, outside of the last game played in the rain.

DeShone Kizer was fine in this matchup a year ago throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown, but it was the running game that shined for the Irish. Josh Adams went for 168 yards and Kizer ran for another 128. The obvious problem is that Notre Dame hasn't been able to run nearly as well this season with a weaker offensive line. But on the other side of that, Stanford's defense has taken a step back the last two weeks getting owned by Jake Browning and Luke Falk. Kizer may not be playing his best at the moment, but he could be in for a nice game.

The other side of the ball has been even more problem some as the Cardinal haven't been good all season. Their only threat is Christian McCaffrey and defenses know that. An even bigger problem is that McCaffrey picked up an injury in the last game and is questionable to play against the Irish. If McCaffrey can't go, it'll be a wonder what this offense can do.

Stanford has scored 22 points in the last two games and while Notre Dame's defense isn't good, the Cardinal may be worse offensively. In his first season as the starter, quarterback Ryan Burns just doesn't have it in him to lead this team, having not surpassed 222 yards or one touchdown in a game.

The Cardinal are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 following a straight-up loss and 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, but again, this isn't the same team as in year's past. The same can be side for the Fighting Irish who are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

Our Pick - all indications are that McCaffrey will play. (This is being written on Tuesday). The way these teams have played perhaps the OVER 52.5 is the way to go here as neither defense seems interested in stopping anyone. The last 4 games in this series have been decided by a TD or less with the last two decided by 3 and 2. We'll grab the points and we'll also go over. Stanford +3 and OVER 52.5

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