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Irish Insights


No fear

Notre Dame is trying to break a 10-game losing streak to ranked opponents Saturday when it plays host to No. 16 Stanford.

And while trying to stop that losing skid isn't ideal coming off back-to-back losses by less than a touchdown, Irish coach Brian Kelly said no one fears playing the Cardinal.

"There is nobody in our locker room, there is no coach that goes, 'Oh, God, we are playing Stanford. We've got no chance to win,' " Kelly said. " We think we can win. I think that is going to be the case each week when we play. When we go to (Boston College), when we play Pittsburgh. Our kids believe they can win. We just got to play with an intensity, I think I used the word nasty, but a will that we got to get out of them. I expect to see that this Saturday."

What Kelly doesn't know what to expect is how Stanford's defense will play.

The Cardinal has rolled their opponents 155-41 in starting the season 3-0 and hasn't had to show much of their new 3-4 defensive scheme.

Also, Stanford's first three opponents – Sacramento State, UCLA and Wake Forest – didn't use the spread offense like Notre Dame.

"It is hard to evaluate them," Kelly said. "Sacramento State, the game was out of hand. It was 17-0 early. It got to 28-0 or 24-0 against UCLA. It is really hard for me. I could tell you it is a whole different scheme from last year. They've employed a 3-4 defense and a lot of man-to-man coverage. They've matched up really well against on offense like Wake Forest, because they could put nine, 10 guys across the line of scrimmage. They overwhelmed Sac State. And UCLA, I don't know what they were doing offensively. I think they visited Nevada and they put in the pistol offense, and I don't know what was going on there.

"This will be totally different than what they have seen, relative to our offense. It going to be fun. It is going to be a different kind of scheme for them, and it is going to be a great challenge at both ends."