Running the football
Tonight Stanford won the game by dominating in the trenches. Coming into tonight’s game Christian McCaffrey was questionable the entire week. On Saturday, news broke moments before the game that McCaffrey would be out. Stanford flat out dominated both sides of the ball in the trenches. In order for Stanford to have a chance to win this game, the running game had to be effective. Bryce Love showed tremendous toughness getting tough, short, and physical dirty yardage in the trenches. Bryce Love added a spark in McCaffrey's absence rushing for 129 yards on 23 carries and 1 touchdown.
The Cardinal defense came up huge tonight forcing two big turnovers. The defense played with a sense of urgency and dictated what the Notre Dame offense would do. The Cardinal defense played a big role in Deshone Kizer's struggles tonight as he was intercepted twice. We were worried coming into the game about the secondary after having two devastating performances struggling to stop the pass. The Cardinal secondary held Kizer to 154 yards passing total on 14/26 attempts passing.
Time of Possession
The most important key to this victory is Stanford controlling the time of possession using up 32:51 minutes. David Shaw knew the time of possession was so important without Christian McCaffrey. As Stanford controlled the clock it put more pressure on Notre Dame’s offense. Controlling the clock kept the defense somewhat fresh and they made the big plays when it counted. Good thing for Stanford and David Shaw they avoided losing 3 straight games.