Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 6, 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 63 of 108

GAME PREVIEW: STANFORD BY ANDREW OWENS O nce former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh left the program to take over the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, many wondered when the Cardinal would take a step back. But only Stanford — hardly known as one of the country's most presti‑ gious football programs — can claim trips to the Bowl Championship Series in each of the last four sea‑ sons of the system's existence, three of which came with David Shaw as head coach. Following the Cardinal's sloppy 13‑10 home loss to USC Sept. 6, it's fair to wonder if 2014 is the year the program finally falters, considering not only that it lost but how it lost: two turnovers, eight penalties for 68 yards and two missed field goals. "I don't see any signs they're step‑ ping back, but I'm not so sure they're as strong defensively as they were last year," said Tom Fitzgerald, who covers the team for The San Francisco Chronicle. "They're ranked No. 1 in the country in yards and points allowed, but two of those were shutouts against UC Davis CARDINAL RULE Stanford has won four of the past five against Notre Dame, but is the series about to shift? David Shaw became one of just three head coaches to ever lead his team to BCS bowl games in each of his first three years, guiding the Cardinal to the Fiesta Bowl in 2012 and back-to-back Rose Bowls in 2013-14. PHOTO COURTESY STANFORDPHOTO.COM

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