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Irish Insights

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Notre Dame to be tested by Stanford

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly saw exactly what he wanted from his team before the Irish's 23-13 win over BYU on Saturday.

As the players exited the cozy confines of the team hotel, no one uttered a word about the cruel weather conditions that had the temperature at 26 degrees at kickoff of the final home game of the season.

"There was a single-minded focus on playing that game," Kelly said during his Tuesday press conference. "We need to continue to build on that and develop that."

That focus and dedication to playing physically will be challenged this Saturday as No. 25 Notre Dame (8-3) closes the regular season at No. 8 Stanford (9-2).

The Cardinal's success, the team has reached a BCS bowl game in each of the last three seasons, and physical style of play will grab the Irish's attention. As well as Stanford's success at home, where it has won 15 straight games.

"Well coached, well balanced, physically exert their will on you, play extremely well at home, we are really excited about the challenge of playing the Stanford Cardinal," Kelly said. "Their consistency nationally has been as good as anybody in the country."

Kelly said consistency has continued to elude his team during the last four years, but he sees the Irish developing a tough-minded focus that they need to play with every game.

"We don't play the game we need to play it each and every week," Kelly said. "Everybody, every player, and we're getting there. And our guys are understanding it, and they're seeing it."

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