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Getting ready for Stanford

Notre Dame's season finale at Stanford will be shown in primetime on ABC this weekend.

Brian Kelly said the matchup between his No. 22 Irish (8-3) and the No. 4 Cardinal (10-1) is the kind of game you want to play in at this time of year. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday at Stanford.

"You want games that are relevant in November," Kelly said. "That's a mark of building your program. The recognition to be on national television says a lot about Stanford, but I think it says a lot about Notre Dame as well."

Notre Dame, which likely will be heading to the Champs Sports Bowl after the season, could hind Stanford's shot at reaching a BCS bowl. But Kelly said the Irish aren't thinking about playing spoilers for the Cardinal's season.

"We see this as just another opportunity to play our last regular season game," Kelly said. "I know our guys are excited. It's a relevant game in November, and it's on national television. That gets 18- to 21-year-olds attention more than being a spoiler."

Stanford has won the last two games against Notre Dame. The Cardinal manhandled the Irish in a 37-14 win last season, and they beat Notre Dame 45-38 in the 2009 season finale.

"The mental toughness and physicality of their football team, those two things stood out when you watched them play," Kelly said. "They're a physical, good looking football team."

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