Charlie Foy: This is the one game I never pick correctly, and I’ve incorrectly predicted the outcome for the past two years. This year, I’m picking the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to take down the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford was lucky to escape Eugene with a win, and in the process, Oregon exposed their offense and defense, and it certainly doesn’t help that the Irish found their groove and their quarterback versus Wake Forest. Stanford appears weak up front on both sides of the ball, which is not typical for Stanford football, and will need to win on the shoulders of K.J. Costello, and beating the Irish single-handedly is a heavy load to bear. However, I would never count Costello out of a game; it’ll be a close finish. Ultimately, I’m picking Notre Dame to win 28-24, but here’s to hoping I’m wrong, again…
Kyle Fierro: Last week Costello threw a poor ball- a step behind a receiver that was surrounded by four or five duck defenders. The result? Game winning catch by 6’7” Colby Parkinson. Going against an ND defense known for its defensive backs, the Stanford offense matchup will be strength against strength. I don’t care how good your 5’11” corners are; they cannot cover the Stanford pass catchers if Costello is on. In addition, Stanford will have their best starting five OL yet for this game, and they will be looking to finally get the run game going against an ND defense that gave up 260 rushing yards to Wake Forest. There is no reason Stanford can’t put together their most complete offensive performance to date. On a team that has the potential to score 40+ points regularly, I’ll guess Stanford puts up 41 tomorrow. On the other side of the ball, I think Stanford’s defense is showing itself to be average to slightly above average. Despite ND opening up the passing game last week with new starting quarterback Ian Book, the ND offense is not as good as Herbert’s Oregon offense from last week. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they equal Oregon’s offensive scoring. 41-31 Stanford final score.
Marlaina Calhoun: Last week versus Oregon, I predicted Stanford to lose...without much reasoning behind it. But, based on Stanford’s first-half performance, I was on track to be correct. Thank goodness I was wrong. This week, my instinct is to say the worst again and let the universe correct me, again. But back Dexter Williams is returning for the Irish this week. I don’t think they’ll use him as their primary weapon, but he will have big plays that make the difference for the Irish. Although Book looked great last week vs Wake Forest, he has a history of being interception-prone and Stanford is not Wake Forest. Did Stanford barely make it by a very unappreciated Oregon? Yes. But my gut tells me that Costello and the rest of the offense have confidence this week with the game holding all of the marbles. Stanford’s defense knows they cannot be pushed around this week and will hold their own in a very close game. I see this one coming down to whoever has the last possession.
Colton Molesky: The Cardinal need to force Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book into ill-advised deep throws. The formula for the defense is to rush Book and get the offense playing behind the chains. For Stanford’s offense, the Bryce Love big game potential is there, but Costello has proven talented enough to win games on his arm, which opens up the playbook for the Cardinal. Expect another big game from tight end Kaden Smith, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to victimize the smaller Notre Dame corners. Stanford wins 33-24.