Kelly's Keys to Victory: Notre Dame vs. Stanford
Head Coach Brian Kelly explains what it will take to win against Stanford.
"It probably puts us in a really good position to be considered for a playoff spot, but most assuredly a New Year's Six slot, which obviously that's a selective position and one that everybody has got their eyes on when they're talking about a great season," said Head Coach Brian Kelly.
It all starts up front for the Irish slowing down Heisman candidate Bryce Love, who averages 173 yards per game and more than 8 yards per carry.
"I think their physicality is who they are and what they're about. Bryce Love is going to be the best back that we see all year. He's up for finalist for the Doak Walker, obviously premier back in the country, 1,700 yards, very fast, breaks tackles. The impressive thing about him is his ability to break tackles," Coach Kelly said.
Quarterback KJ Costello has earned the starting role. He has thrown for 5 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions in 8 games this season.
"He really now has kind of opened up the offense. Good, quick release, athletic, big, can move, and I love their receivers. Big kids that run really good routes. Irwin and Whiteside are rangy, athletic receivers that are match-up problems. So really an offense that will stress you in terms of running the football, and then obviously they get the ball in space with their receivers," Coach Kelly said.
Defensively the Cardinal poses a challenge as well.
"That 3-4 defense, they're rangy at the 4 techniques. The nose, Phillips, is as good as there is in the country, and at the outside backer position, you know, they've got great experience, veteran presence out there, and I think the real strength of their defense is in the back end. I think Justin Reid is as good a safety as we'll see all year," Coach Kelly said.
The Irish are trying to beat Stanford in Palo Alto for the first time since 2007.
"Great opportunity, playing on national television. Last time we played on national television it wasn't our best football. They get to write the last chapter on this season. What a great opportunity for our football team," Coach Kelly said.