Notre Dame preps for final season game at Stanford
Posted: Nov 22, 2011 10:40 PM EST | Updated: Nov 6, 2014 1:36 PM EST
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame might be getting ready for Thanksgiving break, but the Fighting Irish Team is getting to work on preparing for Stanford.
The Irish are 8-3 on the season and are traveling to California to face the 10-1 Stanford Cardinal.
"Great excitement because it’s our last regular season game, great excitement because we're playing a great football team,” said Irish Head Coach Brian Kelly on Tuesday.
Kelly said his team needs to continue to work on their execution on Saturdays, but their preparation remains the same.
The Irish will have to be on their defensive game to stop Stanford’s Quarterback Andrew Luck and his team from putting points up.
"Play really good defense. I think it starts with keeping the points down which we've done a very good job all year,” said Kelly.
The Irish roster has a few kinks to work out before Saturday.
Senior Receiver Jonas Gray is out the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Kelly said this will give Cierre Wood more extended role.
"Loosing somebody that has scored I think 12 or 14 touchdowns for us in Jonas Gray is a blow to us, but we still have a thousand yard rusher in Cierre Wood and that’s a good thing to have going into your last game,” said Kelly.
Also two freshmen, George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel, will have to step up and perform with Gray’s absence.
“They have to play a significant role both of them. They’ve been with us all year. They’ve got a pretty solid base and knowledge of our offense and they should be able to help us win,” said Kelly.
Two players status for Saturday are questionable. Both Defensive End Stephon Tuitt and Receiver Theo Riddick didn’t play against Boston College.
Tuitt is suffering from an illness that Kelly said, “I don't know the specifics of it other than to tell you there's a number of guys that have come down with it and he seems to be affected by it to a point where he's missed a game.”
Kelly said they will make a decision on his status later in the week.
Riddick is coming back from a hamstring injury, and Kelly said they would run him Tuesday during practice to see where he was at.
Kelly said it’ll be a great prime-time match-up for the two teams. “We’ve done very well in November and we want to continue that against Stanford,” said Kelly.