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Stanford vs. Notre Dame Football Preview and Pick

andrew luckIt’s unlikely but still possible that Stanford could play in the national championship game if the Cardinal beat Notre Dame on Saturday night and four of the five teams ahead of Stanford lose either this week or next. The Cardinal are 7-point college football bets favorites on in what likely is the final home game for star QB Andrew Luck.

Brian Kelly’s Irish have turned their season around after two straight heart- breaking losses to start the year. Since then, the team has reeled off eight wins in its last nine games, including a hard-fought 16-14 win over Boston College this past weekend, Notre Dame’s fourth straight victory.

The team did lose No. 1 running back Jonas Gray for the season in that one, however. But the Irish essentially have a 1A in Cierre Wood who will have to carry the load against a Stanford run defense that ranks fifth in the country, allowing 93 yards per game.

Irish WR Michael Floyd could be the key here. Big, fast receivers have given Stanford’s secondary fits all season. Floyd, who has 87 catches for 1,014 yards and seven touchdowns, could join Cal’s Keenan Allen and Southern California’s Robert Woods as the latest star receiver to find seams in the Cardinal defense.

David Shaw’s first season as head coach on the Farm has been a highly successful one, as the Cardinal remain in the hunt for a national title. Stanford lone loss on the season came against Oregon two weeks ago (53-30), but the Cardinal were able to get back into the win column this past weekend with a 31-28 win over California. The Cardinal still could go to the Pac-12 title game if Oregon loses Saturday to Oregon State.

After he threw two interceptions and was sacked three times against Oregon, Heisman Trophy candidate Luck was 20 of 30 for 257 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Cal. The senior has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 436 yards with a TD and two interceptions while winning both of his starts versus Notre Dame.

This series dates back to the 1925 Rose Bowl. Notre Dame holds a 17-8 series advantage, but the Cardinal have won the last two meetings, including a 37-14 decision in South Bend last season.

SA Take: Even though Stanford got steamrolled by Oregon a while back and Notre Dame is playing inspired football we like Stanford to win and cover in this game.

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Saturday, November 26th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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