Welcome to your Anti-Preview for Satanford. I have to be honest with you, because... I love you. This Anti-Preview is going to be "mailed-in" a bit. It has been a busy week for me, and my blog network is doing some server maintenance tonight, so I am going to make this a little more simple for this week, and this week only.
At least, Harbaugh (King Douche) will be able to follow along without scratching his flea-infested asshole. Let's get started...
Stanford. Big, bad, Jim Harbaugh and his Stanford Cardinal are coming to town, and they are rolling. Well, rolling over Sacramento State, UCLA, and Wake Forest. The competition has certainly been on the "shitty" side. However... they have put zero doubt in the minds of those who have paid attention, as they have killed their opponents.
Here are their current rankings with the big stats:
- Rushing Yards: 242.3 / 14th
- Passing Yards: 233 / 47th
- Points For: 51.7 / 3rd
- Points Against: 13.7 / 15th
Don't let that 47th ranking in passing yards fool you- it was done with ZERO interceptions, and they have a 100% scoring percentage in the redzone.
This team is pretty good, and the best we have seen so far this season- hell... they might be the best we see ALL year. It will be a tough, physical game, and King Douche always has his players ready to play.
What should you be drinking? This is a very blue-collar type of team that we are going up against, so... we have to be bluer. Pabst Blue Ribbon is a working man's beer and a god damn good one. It won the blue ribbon for fuck's sake. Trust me though, once you pound back like 15 or 16, you'll be thanking God that the PBR was ASAP'd your way.
What should you be eating? Since I am "mailing this in," I am going back to a classic. When you think of blue-collar food that is good enough for royalty, only one thing should come to mind: White Castle.
Deep-fried White Castle Cheeseburgers.
Just make a simple beer batter with your PBR, and deep-fry to a golden brown crisp. Check out this video of a guy just loving on this shit, but remember to substitute the shitty imported beer that he uses with a real American classic; PBR.
Irish Stew: Chant your motherfucking ass off. Harbaugh is going to pull some shit. He is going to be an animated asshole while he bitches and throws toddler fits on the sideline. "DDDOOOCCCHHHEEEBBBAAAGGG...DDDOOOUUUCCCHHHBBBAAAGGG..." should be your cry every time that asshole starts throwing a hissy-fit. If you are at the game, don't worry about the ushers. They won't kick out the entire stadium.
What's in a name? Shane Skov. It's not for any other reason than that someone needs to buy this dude a vowel. Skov? Seriously. Any vowel will do- and some spelling lessons. ( I know a guy).
KGG's SLANT:Sweet Jesus its Stanford week and the Irish are 1-2. I remember sitting in Stanford stadium last season, watching Jimmy thrash the Stanford defense, seeing the annoying Stanford band and witnessing Weis calling off the defense to let Toby Gerhart score. That was a dark day in my life, and I'm sure a dark day for Charlie Weis as well. This game is personally really important to me. First, as a West Coast Subway Domer, this game goes miles in regards to recruits here in So Cal and it shuts many of the Stanford football fans up. Stanford football fans only seem to care about Big Game but they never fail to make fun of me when they happen to beat ND. Another reason this is an important game to me is that my father is an alumni of Stanford and I attended the University of San Diego, where Jim Harbaugh got his coaching start. These are important because my dad loves Notre Dame more than I do and would want them to beat his Alma Mater. Also, Jim Harbaugh' instituted a policy at USD where he changed our home games from 7pm on Saturday night to day games, thus "encouraging more students to come to the games". (Yes, I went to a school that struggled to get the student body to go to sporting events) As a student, this was absolutely ridiculous because now the home games were being played during Notre Dame games. Obviously, due to the extreme fandom that I have for the irish, I had to miss nearly all of my Alma Mater's home games during my college tenure. Thanks to you Jim Harbaugh, I missed a critical piece of my college career. Therefore, I hope the Irish demolish Stanford so bad that they are forced to move all USD games back to Saturday nights. Lets win this one for Toreros fans all across San Diego!
On to more important matters…. With the season going the way it has, this is a big time game for the Irish. Will the team be able to forget about the 2 close losses to undefeated teams, or will those be crushing blows and deflate the season completely?
Stanford provides the perfect springboard for the Irish. The #16 team in the nation visits this weekend coming off 3 impressive wins this year. Not impressive in terms of who they have played, but how they played in those games. The Cardinal are averaging 51 points a game and boast the nations #1 passing defense. They are currently giving up only 91 yards a game through the air. Granted, they have only played Sacramento State, UCLA, and Wake Forrest, but showing up against lowly teams isn't always easy. Ask Irish fans about how much confidence they have in facing Tulsa and Western Michigan this year. We all expect the Irish to roll these teams, but is anything less than complete dominance a success? Stanford completely dominated their first 3 opponents and their offense seems to be scary good. They come in extremely balanced averaging 233 yards through the air and 242 yards on the ground per game. Harbaugh loves to establish the run and use his mobile QB to setup the pass using play action and bootlegs. Andrew Luck is legitimate NFl threat if you listen to the likes of Mel Kiper and has shown he can compete in his first 3 games. He has completed 65% of his passes for 674 yards and 10 TD's, 0 INT's this year and could be the most polished passer the Irish see this year.
The scary part of this Stanford team is there isn't a reliance on one guy like Toby Gerhart last year. Numerous running backs should touch the ball and look to exploit the Irish defense. Luckily Jamoris Slaughter is back this week for the Irish as the defense will need all the help it can get. The Cardinal will pound the ball and throw over the top so having a healthy secondary is a must. The Irish will struggle to slow the Cardinal down so lets hope the offense can keep up with Stanford's high profile scoring attack.
Unfortunately, this Irish team reminds me a lot of last years Irish team. The Irish seem to be able to score in games, but still suffer redzone issues and miscues by way of penalties and turnovers. The defense is still suspect, some drives they look awesome and others they are quick to give up big gains. If thats the case, then I can't see this game going any other way that towards a Cardinal victory. Stanford has never beaten the Irish 2 years in a row, but I'm afraid this year might be a streak setter. Like I said, I witnessed a shootout with the Cardinal last year and it didn't end well. If the Irish have any chance of winning, they must capitalize on every opportunity. Stanford had 12 possession vs Wake Forrest. Of the 12, 4 ended in Passing TD's, 6 ended in rushing TD's, 1 ended with the half and 1 ended in a punt. That pretty impressive.
The Irish will need to score often against this Cardinal team, but I don't feel the Irish defense has enough depth to keep up. Stanford extends their winning streak to 2 games: Cardinal 44, Irish 31.
Offensive MVP: Armando Allen should see increased carries this week. Sounds funny doesn't it, but Allen has seen his number of carries go down each week from 18 to 15 to 13, while maintaining over a 5 yard per carry average. The Notre Dame defense has to be able to get more rest. I know Kelly wants to score quickly, but the depth on defense isn't there just yet. Allen should see 20+ carries and have his first 100 yard game of the season.
Defensive MVP: Ian Williams is playing very, very well as of late. You can feel the urgency that this senior is playing with right now. The nose tackle in the 3-4 is considered to be the anchor of the defense, and the one who can sway the play of the entire defense in one way or another. Ian continues to shine in his last season and disrupts the Stanford blocking schemes.
Something else to watch: This is going to sound like a broken record, but it's more like a broken record collection. The entire Irish defensive backfield. Jamoris Slaughter will return to his starting role, but he is still not 100%. Walls, Gray, and Blanton are all a little banged up. Will they still play as physical as they have the past 3 games? Will Slaughters return give the defense the boost that it has lacked the past 2 games? All these questions and more as they go up against a very accurate and smart QB in Andrew Luck.
Is there a trophy on the line?
This might be the most obsolete trophy. It is not even published by a video game. It was presented for the first time in 1989 by the Notre Dame Club of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Legends Trophy, is a combination of Irish Crystal and California Redwood. Whatever the hell that means.
I have a hard time accepting Stanford as a true rival. Academically- yes, but on the football field it has not been close when you look at the record: 18-6 in Notre Dame's favor. However, Jim Harbaugh is crazy as bat shit and is easy to hate. He is also a pretty good coach, so this "rivalry" has definitely turned dirty- at least on his end.
At the end of the day... There is going to be a lot of blood spilled on the grass inside Notre Dame Stadium. Make no mistake about it, Stanford is a very good football team, and even though Harbaugh is a douchbag- he knows what he is doing. Predicting how this game will be played out, is an impossibility with options littered with options. However, there will be a victor. With sound defense that keeps the big play from happening, and an offense that is much more balanced than at any other time this season; Irish win 27-24.