The college football action continues tonoight as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Stanford Cardinal at home on Saturday, October 15. Live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. See below for additional information and how to watch/stream the Notre Dame vs Stanford game.
Saturday’s game marks the 36th meeting between the two programs. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 22-13 and has won 3 straight games against the Cardinal. Extending that streak to four-straight wins would be the longest from Notre Dame since winning seven games in a row from 2002 to 2008.
The Irish (3-2) are on a three-game win streak after defeating the then-No. 16 BYU Cougars 28-20 on Saturday in the Shamrock Series in Las Vegas. Junior quarterback Drew Pyne finished 22-of-28 for 262 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the win. In his three starts this season, Pyne is 63-of-85 (74.1 percent) for 701 yards with eight touchdowns and just one interception.
Junior tight end Michael Mayer had a career-best performance last weekend finishing with 11 catches — a Notre Dame record for a tight end in a game — for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Irish head coach Marcus Freeman believes Mayer is just getting started:
“He’s special, man,” Freeman said from Allegiant Stadium. “He is a special football player. But the thing you love about Michael Mayer is he’s the hardest worker. When your best player is your hardest worker, that’s the greatest example you can have for young guys and your entire team.
“I’m just going to continue to push him, continue to be the hardest worker we have.”
RELATED READING: Things We Learned: Offensive development from Notre Dame’s receivers and offensive line accelerates Pyne’s growing confidence
Stanford is coming off its fourth straight loss of the season after falling to Oregon State 28-27 on Saturday at home. The Cardinal, led by David Shaw in his 12th season as head coach, currently has one of the worst-ranked defenses in the FBS, allowing 32.8 points per game, 431.6 yards per game and 207 rush yards per game. Additionally, Stanford has lost 11 straight games to FBS opponents and 10 straight to Pac-12 teams. Shaw says that consistency has been an issue for this team:
“Our good plays, our good drives — offense, defense, special teams — are really good, and our bad plays are really bad. Sometimes it’s hard to rectify,” Shaw said. “The same group is out there. But it’s not just the players. Some of the things we are asking them to do, some of the positions we are putting them in, some things we need to emphasize more, some things we need to emphasize less.”
RELATED READING: And In That Corner … Stanford Cardinal’s weaknesses line up perfectly with Notre Dame’s strengths
Washington has 16 sacks this season, across six games.
Eight came against Stanford.
Maybe this is the week? Probably not, but maybe?
(#NotreDame has 15 sacks through five games, including six vs. Cal.)https://t.co/AYbvd1264n
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) October 12, 2022
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Let’s make one thing clear: At 1-4 and having lost 11 straight games against FBS opponents by an average of more than 18 points per defeat, this is not as bad as the Stanford Cardinal has been. In 2003, Notre Dame beat Stanford 57-7.
That came in Tyrone Willingham’s first visit to his former employer, not that Willingham had reason to run up the score. The Irish were simply that much better than the Cardinal, relying on Julius Jones’ 218 yards on 23 rushes, a 9.5 yards per carry average.
Just shy of 20 years later, Stanford may have regressed back to those struggles, its weaknesses matching Notre Dame’s strengths, which are once again such a ground game. Between sophomore running backs Audric Estimé and Logan Diggs and junior Chris Tyree, the Irish have averaged 5.34 yards per carry the last three weeks en route to 212 rushing yards per game.
No single one of them may match Jones’ output at The Farm back in 2003, but the “three-headed monster” of Notre Dame’s backfield, to use Marcus Freeman’s phrasing, could equal that production today and spur the Irish to a blowout of the Cardinal.
TIME: 7:30 ET, long after the rain stops in South Bend. Temperatures will even out long before kickoff, sitting at about 48 degrees with clear skies.
TV: NBC will broadcast Notre Dame’s chase of its fourth straight win against Stanford, which would be the longest Irish streak since winning seven in a row between 2002 and 2008. Peacock will also carry the game live if preferring to stream it.
The focused matchup on a rival reminded Freeman of the prominent rivalry of his collegiate career, carefully dancing around the M-word (Michigan) this week when discussing The Game as an Ohio State alum, self-censorship that may bond Notre Dame fans with Buckeyes fans.
“When it was that week of that game, you understand what that rivalry meant and the history behind it,” Freeman said Monday. “That’s the same thing for this game. … I’m not looking at a record. I’m not looking at anything other than what you see on film, and you respect them in terms of you prepare for them.”
PREVIEW: In seven of their last 11 matchups, Notre Dame and Stanford have both been ranked. This afternoon is, in fact, only the second time in their last 12 meetings in which neither has been ranked, the other being 2016.
But not all unranked teams are created equally. The Irish (3-2) are on a three-game winning streak under a first-year head coach. Their stumble against Marshall in early September was humbling, but it may have been a knock toward reality unavoidable in Freeman’s debut campaign.
The Cardinal, meanwhile, have no such underlying reasoning. It is nothing but bad. Let’s take a broad sampling of opinions of Stanford. The weekly exercise in this space of interviewing an opposing beat writer, “And In That Corner …,” is not a distinctly unique article. Most reputable Notre Dame-focused websites run such an article each week, and none of them were kind to the Cardinal in the last few days.
“It’s not exactly your older brother’s Stanford Cardinal football program these days on The Farm,” Irish Illustrated’s Tim O’Malley wrote. His counterpart, Jackson Moore, added, “It’s been quite some time since Stanford football has had something to feel good about. … Those former strengths became their biggest weaknesses last year.”
Inside ND Sports’ Tyler James had the tact of simply titling his rendition, “Has Stanford hit rock bottom yet?”
In his opponent overview, Irish Sports Daily’s Jamie Uyeyama did the math of, “12 wins used to be a great season for [Stanford head coach] David Shaw. Now it’s his win total since 2019.”
Stanford snagged defeat from the jaws of victory last week, and @AlexSimonSports *chose* to watch that game in person. What’d he learn? That Stanford’s weaknesses match up with #NotreDame‘s strengths.https://t.co/A3KMeAfmLe
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) October 13, 2022
What went so wrong? This used to be Notre Dame’s stiffest challenge every year. From 2010 to 2015, the Cardinal was ranked every season when it faced the Irish, peaking at No. 4 in 2011 and costing Notre Dame distant hopes at a Playoff berth in 2015.
Stanford has not been ranked when facing Notre Dame since 2018. Match that dropoff with the implementation of the early signing period in December of 2017. Shaw faced stiffer challenges to adjusting to that than any Irish coach does.
Stanford does not grant early admission, as Notre Dame long has in early December. Shaw could not absolutely assure recruits they would be admitted when the December signing period came, weakening their resolve to head to Palo Alto. Never a recruiting juggernaut, the Cardinal then signed the No. 57 class in the country. It is has not cracked the top 20 in recruiting rankings since then, including a No. 46 standing in 2021.
Furthermore, the transfer portal seems to flow one way at Stanford, more so than even in South Bend.
Then, the challenges of conditioning during the pandemic were most difficult for the college football teams in northern California, including in Santa Clara County. That lack of strength training and development compounded the Cardinal’s lack of talent.
This worrisome combination of difficulties has left Stanford further behind the proverbial eight-ball than a usual downward spiral would create.
PREDICTION: All that combines to leave the Cardinal at a clear talent disadvantage against the Irish, not to mention against most FBS teams. And that deficit becomes worse when Stanford is without two-fifths of its starting offensive line and its lead running back, as it is this week.
The Cardinal cannot run the ball with consistency, something Notre Dame is already geared to stop. Meanwhile, Stanford has not stopped an opponent from running the ball, the exact offensive approach helping the Irish accelerate into the season.
The Cardinal’s weaknesses match Notre Dame’s strengths.
That was the case last year, as well, when the Irish went to northern California as 20.5-point favorites. They won by 31 thanks to a last-minute touchdown from Kyren Williams, putting him over 1,000 rushing yards on the season for a second consecutive year.
There will be no such statistical impulse tonight. Freeman has no grudge with Shaw crafted by a decade of facing each other. But Notre Dame remains that much better than Stanford. Maybe it is no longer 31 points better, given the Irish hiccups this season, but swapping home-field advantage should further Notre Dame’s edge.
Yet, it is only a 16.5-point favorite as Friday turns to Saturday with a combined points total Over/Under of 53.
Both numbers are too low. Once the Irish open up a lead, likely courtesy of that ground game, then the Cardinal will soon need to rely solely on the pass, at which point Notre Dame’s aggressive defensive line will be able to charge forward with reckless abandon, harassing Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee most of the night.
Few possessions including sacks result in touchdowns, and that will limit the Cardinal to hardly any success.
Notre Dame 45, Stanford 10
(Spread: 2-3; Over/Under: 2-3; Straight-up: 3-2)
Well there y’go…it is indeed “fall.” #seewhatididthere? pic.twitter.com/cBe28pk4Jy
— Matt Cashore (@mattcashore) October 10, 2022
INSIDE THE IRISH
— Freeman’s authenticity sheds truth to usual coachspeak; Notre Dame injuries update
— And In That Corner … Stanford Cardinal’s weaknesses line up perfectly with Notre Dame’s strengths
— Notre Dame loses veteran LB, captain Bo Bauer for season to knee injury
— Notre Dame’s Opponents: Two future top-10 opponents face stiff tests for a change
— How to watch Notre Dame vs Stanford and the Irish all season; TV, Peacock info for 2022
— Things To Learn: Stanford gives Notre Dame its first chance to test freshman QB Steve Angeli
— Stanford vs Notre Dame Odds, Picks and Predictions: Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
— Football weekend events: Notre Dame vs. Stanford
— Big Ten’s Kevin Warren on further expansion: ‘We’re analyzing what makes sense’
— Wake Forest’s confounding RPO system has Demon Deacons offense rolling
— Stanford’s slow-mesh/RPO components add to defensive challenge
— Scouting report | Stanford
— Opponent outlook: Has Stanford hit rock bottom yet?
— Insider’s preview: Stanford
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At some point, Notre Dame needs to find some peace of mind should junior quarterback Drew Pyne suffer any injury. If Pyne’s helmet gets knocked off, if he sprains an ankle, if he joins the ever-lengthening list of quarterbacks with shoulder injuries across the country, the Irish (3-2) need to know freshman Steve Angeli could step in for a moment, a week, the season.
Ever since sophomore Tyler Buchner sprained his shoulder on Sept. 10 against Marshall, ending his season, Angeli has been one play away from one of the most prominent roles in sports, Notre Dame’s starting quarterback.
Favored by three scores against Stanford (7:30 ET; NBC), the same Cardinal that has lost 11 straight games against FBS opponents by an average of more than 18 points, in the familiar confines of Notre Dame Stadium, Saturday may be the moment the Irish first get Angeli some competitive snaps.
Of course, they should be only so competitive. Playing Angeli voluntarily would come only in a blowout.
There is a track record to follow. Back in 2015, when Malik Zaire broke his ankle in the second week of the season, then-freshman Brandon Wimbush was suddenly in Angeli’s current position. So the Irish moved up Wimbush’s timeline, developed him to an extent he could handle the workload if need be, and got him into the game at the first chance they could.
Leading Massachusetts 48-20 halfway through the third quarter two weeks later, Wimbush stepped in for DeShone Kizer. Wimbush finished with 92 rushing yards on four carries along with 17 yards on 3-of-5 passing, hardly anything paradigm-changing, but enough that Notre Dame’s coaching staff trusted he could play in a pinch.
That was the first chance for Wimbush.
Back then, doing so cost him a season of eligibility, something rectified when he did not play in his sophomore season, 2016. Nowadays, Angeli would need to play in five games to lose a year, one of the scenarios in which the four-game exception protects players’ health.
Saturday should be Angeli’s first chance.
Cal kept things too competitive the week after Buchner’s injury, and the Irish haven’t been home since. South Bend has always been the most likely site for Angeli’s debut.
“There’s no other option, we have to be comfortable (with Angeli),” head coach Marcus Freeman said on Sept. 22, the week after that win against Cal. “That’s [offensive coordinator Tommy Rees’] and all of our’s job, to make sure we have a package.”
A month later, perhaps Angeli has more than simply a package at his disposal. He started studying the playbook with urgency on Sept. 11. Six days later, some Notre Dame fans wanted him to replace Pyne against the Bears, always a misguided notion but particularly then given Angeli did not know much of the playbook yet. But now, he should, and again, Notre Dame needs to know.
“You can’t ask someone to do things that they’re not capable of doing,” Freeman said. “I don’t think you’re going to ask Steve Angeli to run every single play that you’re asking Drew Pyne to run. It takes time to learn the entire package, the entire offensive system.
“Guess what, if Steve Angeli is presented with the opportunity, he has to go in there and execute. He has to go in there and do what we need our quarterbacks to do.”
RELATED READING: QB Steve Angeli’s confidence gave Notre Dame, Tommy Rees recruiting flexibility
Angeli has executed at Notre Dame Stadium before. He ran a two-minute drill to close the Blue-Gold Game and spring practices back in April, scampering to the pylon for the game-winning touchdown as time expired. That was in a scrimmage in front of a two-thirds-empty Stadium, but the environment and pseudo-pressure still served him well.
“Those reps are priceless,” Angeli said then. “I took a good amount of reps throughout the spring, but being able to finally be in a game environment and play real football, it’s really priceless and instrumental to my development.”
RELATED READING: Steve Angeli’s, Jadarian Price’s spring star turns forecast differing Notre Dame futures
Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 18 Steve Angeli, freshman QB, Blue-Gold Game star
Such modest steps will not wow anyone. An intrasquad scrimmage can show only so much; the same can — and should — be said of a rout of spiraling Stanford. But these are the steps available to Angeli at the moment, steps Notre Dame needs him to take.
“We have to meet him halfway,” Freeman said. “We have to be able to ask Steve Angeli to do the things we know he can do. …
“I feel really strongly about the way he’s prepared. He’s prepared not as the scout team quarterback, but as a quarterback that can be ready to go into the game. He has the greatest example in Drew Pyne.”
Freeman went on to challenge Pyne to teach Angeli how to study film, perhaps unintentionally drawing a parallel between what Pyne can teach Angeli and what Ian Book taught Pyne.
At some point this season, it can be safely assumed Pyne will need to head to the sideline for at least a moment. There are seven games left in the year, simply enough. One knock, one twist, one unorthodox targeting penalty and then Angeli will be in the fray.
Notre Dame needs to know he can take that snap, and beating up on Stanford should create that opportunity.
for the win ☘️@SteveAngeli_125 | #GoIrish pic.twitter.com/6WUEpU4zbJ
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) April 26, 2022
From there, the Irish can start to plot out the longer-term future, as well.
“A long season ahead of us,” Freeman said two days after Buchner’s injury. “Still have nine games guaranteed in front of us to evaluate Drew and Steve Angeli and Ronnie Powlus. If [quarterback] is a position of need that we need to go get a high school quarterback or a transfer quarterback, we’ll definitely evaluate it.”
That would be good process for Notre Dame, but the first concern is October and November, when there will be no high school quarterback or transfer quarterback to aid the Irish. Only Angeli if need be.
RELATED READING: On Notre Dame and its difficulties in the transfer portal
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As of this week, Notre Dame has faced the toughest schedule in the country, per Phil Steele. Given the Irish (3-2) played Marshall and Cal, that might be a surprise, but it is inherent to independent scheduling. While Notre Dame is playing North Carolina and then-No. 16 BYU, most other teams add in an extra Sun Belt foe and perhaps an FCS dalliance.
The Irish are unlikely to remain atop Steele’s scheduling rankings, given the next teams on the list are all about to face teams tougher than Stanford (7:30 ET; NBC), with Colorado playing Cal, Arkansas at BYU and Michigan State hosting Wisconsin.
The real shock of this ranking is that Notre Dame still has two top-10 opponents to face. No. 4 Clemson has two challenging games coming up, but it would have to lose both to fall out of the top 10 before it arrives in South Bend on Nov. 5. No. 7 USC is an underdog at No. 20 Utah this weekend, but if it can navigate that hurdle before facing No. 11 UCLA in November, then the Trojans should also be a top-10 foe, if not more than that, when the Irish head west.
Those are future concerns, though.
Stanford (1-4): The Cardinal lost its 11th straight FBS game, through no one’s fault but its own. Stanford led Oregon State 24-10 entering the fourth quarter and kicked a field goal to go up 27-22 with less than a minute left.
Then, the Cardinal snagged defeat from the jaws of victory, not only allowing a completion but also blowing multiple tackles to give up a game-winning touchdown to the Beavers.
PAC-12 AFTER DARK!#Pac12FB | @BeaverFootball pic.twitter.com/thluowfq9k
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) October 9, 2022
As of Thursday late morning, the Irish remain 17-point favorites against Stanford this weekend, per PointsBet, with a combined points total Over/Under of 53.5. Do that quick math and Notre Dame is projected to win 35-18. The Cardinal have not yet played a defense as considerable as the Irish, but Notre Dame has faced a defense comparable to Stanford’s. SP+ ranks the Cardinal at No. 97 among defenses, just four slots ahead of North Carolina, on whom the Irish scored 45 points.
UNLV (4-2): The Rebels were raced off the field by San José State on Friday, and while the Spartans were favored, a 40-7 win was never expected. This was the UNLV long foreseen entering the season. It gained 52 rushing yards on 27 attempts while giving up 203 yards on 36 attempts, the kind of disparity that should be ripe for Notre Dame’s picking in a week.
It should also be ripe for Air Force (10:30 ET; CBSSN) on Saturday night, though the Falcons are only 10-point favorites. This can once again, just like last week, underscore how long-held analytics factor into those metrics more than recent results.
No. 18 Syracuse (5-0): The Orange took the week off before a daunting three-week slate, facing No. 15 North Carolina State (3:30 ET; ACCN), No. 4 Clemson and Notre Dame in a row. Syracuse is favored by 3.5 against the Wolfpack, a number that defies distinct comprehension to this point.
No. 4 Clemson (6-0): Boston College never stood a chance. That may sound reductive, but the Tigers were able to hold the Eagles to 25 rushing yards on 30 carries. Even if adjusting for sacks, 68 rushing yards on 26 carries is hardly the sign of a balanced offense in a 31-3 loss. Without an explosive offense of its own, Boston College had no chance of keeping up as Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw three touchdown passes.
It’s so refreshing to hear an elite athlete like Xavier Thomas @atxlete talk as openly about mental health as he did today, citing his battle with severe post-COVID symptoms as proof he could get through breaking his foot this summer. #MentalHealthMatters pic.twitter.com/bny2rGivrv
— Marc Whiteman (@MarcWYFFNews4) October 12, 2022
The Tigers now head to Florida State (7:30 ET; ABC) as 3.5-point favorites, another ACC spread that feels suppressed and is thus uneasiness-inducing.
Navy (2-3): The Midshipmen have turned their season around in a distinctly unexpected fashion. Beating Tulsa 53-21 was Navy’s second win in the three weeks since its idle week, the loss a tight 13-10 defeat at Air Force. More notably, this was the Midshipmen’s first strong rushing showing, gaining 455 yards on 69 carries, a 6.6 yards per rush average.
How much of this success is sustainable? Who knows. Heading to SMU (7:30 ET on Friday; ESPN) may shed some light. With Navy as an underdog all along, the line rose as high as +13.5 before settling at +12.5 late in the week.
Boston College (2-4): The Eagles reach their idle week looking to strike a unique balance, something that will not save their season but could tilt them back toward a few wins late in the year.
Hafley: “It can’t just be rest because we have work to do, and they’re young. But, at the same time, we don’t really have the depth to just go out and practice and scrimmage with those young guys like I’d like to.”
— Andy Backstrom (@andybackstrom) October 12, 2022
No. 7 USC (6-0): On the one hand, the Trojans managed only 369 yards and 30 points against Washington State. On the other, they held the Cougars to 5.2 yards per play and 14 points without relying on any turnovers for the defensive showing. USC quarterback Caleb Williams threw for just 188 yards on 15-of-29 passing, but he still threw two touchdowns.
It remains difficult to nail down how good the Trojans are or are not, this roster pieced together over the summer, not yet thoroughly tested. No. 20 Utah (8 ET; FOX) may not strike some as that staunch of a test, but the Utes are at least a known and proven commodity. With Utah favored by 3.5 points, this may finally be the moment USC becomes a real contender … or an also-ran.
No. 2 Ohio State (6-0): Beating up on Michigan State is going to become a Big Ten past-time in 2022, so the Buckeyes’ 49-20 win need not be praised too much. They now take a week off.
Marshall (3-3): The Herd did not play over the weekend in order to slip in a Wednesday night game against Louisiana, in which Marshall fell flat. A double-digit favorite by kickoff, the Herd lost 23-13. Suddenly a supposed one-time Sun Belt contender is 0-2 in the conference.
Cal (3-2): After an idle week, the Bears travel to Colorado (2 ET; Pac-12 Network) for what should be a fun time. The Buffaloes are that bad. Cal is now a 15-point favorite, a number that might yet reach -17, quite frankly, an unusual occurrence in the Justin Wilcox era. Since Wilcox took over in 2017, the Bears have been favored by more than two touchdowns against exactly zero FBS opponents
North Carolina (5-1): Are the Tar Heels an ACC title contender? Winning on the road at Miami, 27-24, puts North Carolina at 2-0 in the conference, so there is obviously a long way to go yet, but it has a decided leg up on the rest of the Coastal division having logged that second win. Pitt is 1-1, and with a tiebreaker over Miami (0-1 in the conference), the Heels may need to focus on only the Panthers in two weeks.
North Carolina should have little trouble at Duke (8 ET; ACCN), no matter how well Mike Elko’s first season is going. The Heels are touchdown favorites.
BYU (4-2): After the loss to Notre Dame, the Cougars host another Power Five opponent, Arkansas (3:30 ET; ESPN). The line has fallen to a pick’em, despite favoring BYU most of the week.
Friday at 7:30 ET — Navy at SMU (ESPN)
Saturday at 2 ET — Cal at Colorado (P12N)
3:30 ET — North Carolina State at Syracuse (ACCN); Arkansas at BYU (ESPN)
7:30 ET — Stanford at Notre Dame (NBC); Clemson at Florida State (ABC)
8 ET — USC at Utah (FOX); North Carolina at Duke (ACCN)
10:30 ET — Air Force at UNLV (CBSSN)
Favorites: Syracuse (-3.5) vs. North Carolina State; Clemson (-3.5) at Florida State; Cal (-15) at Colorado; North Carolina (-7) at Duke; BYU (pk) vs. Arkansas.
Underdogs: Stanford (+17) at Notre Dame; UNLV (+10) vs. Air Force; Navy (+12.5) at SMU; USC (-3.5) at Utah.
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Bo Bauer will not set the Notre Dame record for games played. The fifth-year linebacker suffered a season-ending knee surgery this week, Irish head coach Marcus Freeman announced Thursday.
Bauer returned to South Bend this season only because the universal pandemic eligibility waiver granted him an additional season. He finishes his career having played in 56 games, five behind Kurt Hinish’s record.
The second captain to be lost for the season after sixth-year receiver Avery Davis tore his ACL in August, Bauer finishes his career with 120 tackles including 11 for loss with 2.5 sacks.
“Devastating, just because he’s a captain, provides so much more than just production,” Freeman said. “The energy, the ability to motivate our players, and it’s going to be a tremendous loss for us.”
Long a special-teams extraordinaire, Bauer has continued to produce there this season, starting only two games in his career.
“You hurt for a guy like Bo who gives so much to this place,” Freeman said. “He’s an emotional leader, he’s a captain, he’s unselfish.”
RELATED READING: Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 52 Bo Bauer, fifth-year linebacker, Ironman
Bauer most memorably nearly scored against USC last season, somewhat prevented from doing so because Notre Dame’s pass rush was too good. When end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa hit Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis as he threw, he knocked Slovis into tackle Jayson Ademilola, keeping the passer upright.
That was how Slovis could track down Bauer at the four-yard line after a 79-yard return.
TURNOVER ALERT 🚨
WHAT A PLAY BY @____bb52!#GoIrish | @NDFootball pic.twitter.com/QN8dLLlO0A
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 24, 2021
Bauer had seen less playing time this season as senior Jack Kiser’s role increased and senior Marist Liufau found further health and comfort after missing last season with a dislocated ankle, not to mention senior JD Bertrand remains as durable as Bauer had been until now.
Sophomore Prince Kollie made a sack last week against BYU, and he is likely to see more and more time now, and perhaps freshman Junior Tuihalamaka will, as well, in Bauer’s place.
Freeman was optimistic about both senior defensive tackle Howard Cross (high-ankle sprain) and fifth-year cornerback Tariq Bracy (pulled hamstring) playing against Stanford on Saturday (7:30 ET; NBC).
Freeman “expects” Cross to play after he practiced all of Wednesday, and feels “confident TaRiq is going to be able to give us something.”
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