STANFORD AT NOTRE DAME
RECORDS: Stanford 4-1, Notre Dame 5-0
KICKOFF: 12:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Stadium (capacity: 80,795)
SERIES HISTORY: Notre Dame leads 17-9, but Stanford has won three in a row. ... This is the third meeting in which both teams are ranked in The Associated Press poll (the Irish are No. 7; the Cardinal is No. 17).
STORYLINES: How will Stanford respond to the environment in Notre Dame Stadium and to the ferocious Irish defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown in the past three games? The answer depends largely on whether quarterback Josh Nunes plays with the confidence he showed last week at home against Arizona or the skittishness he showed two weeks ago at Washington. ... Stanford is expected to be without its top wide receiver, Ty Montgomery (knee), placing an even greater burden on tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo. ... Former Sunnyvale-King's Academy star Amir Carlisle, who transferred to Notre Dame from USC, is out for the season with an ankle injury. ... Stanford is the only team to defeat both USC
and Notre Dame in three consecutive seasons. It already has victory No. 4 over the Trojans.
INJURY UPDATE: Stanford -- FB Geoff Meinken (knee) is out. WR Ty Montgomery (knee) is doubtful. RB Anthony Wilkerson (leg) and CB Terrence Brown (head) are probable. Notre Dame -- S Jamoris Slaughter (Achilles) is out. K Nick Tausch
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Stanford's offensive line against Notre Dame's front three. ... The Cardinal won't have its usual advantage in brute force: Irish nose guard Louis Nix III and ends Stephon Tuitt and Kapron Lewis-Moore are all 300-pounders. Add the nation's best linebacker (Manti Te'o) to the equation, and Stanford must contend with the toughest run defense it has faced this year.
STATS THAT MATTER: Notre Dame allows an average of 7.8 points per game, second in the nation (behind Alabama), and has not yielded a rushing touchdown. ... Stanford has allowed just five sacks. Notre Dame's defense has 14 sacks. ... The Cardinal is 5-0 against Notre Dame when it's ranked in the top 25. ... The Irish are the only team in the country that has not trailed in a game this season.
-- JON WILNER