Kelly: Stanford has beaten us physically in past
Posted: 10/09/2012 at 3:01 pm
By: Rachel Terlep
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Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college football game Miami at Soldier Field Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
His players remember the pain well enough on their own.
“Yeah, they haven’t beaten Stanford and if there is one team that has beaten us physically, it is Stanford,” Kelly said. “And (our team) knows that.”
Kelly said the story is different this year.
“I think we’re stronger physically across the board,” Kelly said. “We’re a mature football team. We have veterans on defense. From an offensive line standpoint we can handle runs better. We had a ton of negative plays last year, you know, just a difference. We had 50plus running plays and we had one negative play against Miami.”
The No. 7 Irish (5-0) are 0-2 against the Cardinal in Kelly’s first two years at the school, losing 28-14 in 2011 and 37-14 in 2010. Though quarterback Andrew Luck is gone — and with him Stanford’s biggest offensive weapon — the No. 18 Cardinal (4-1) still present one of Notre Dame’s toughest matchups of the season.
“They’re a wellcoached team in all phases, offense, defense, and special teams,” Kelly said of Stanford. “They’re a physical football team. They play that way up front, in the back end, their running backs, tight ends. It’s apparent across the board the kind of team you’re going to play when you face Stanford.”
Kelly called the matchup that Stanford’s 6-foot-6 and 6-8 tight ends, Zach Ertz and Levin Toilolo, will present “a nightmare.”
“(Tyler) Eifert is the same problem if we split him out, if we put the ball in a good location he’s going to catch it every time so we’ve got to have some answers there,” he said. “It just becomes a matchup every time.”