Notre Dame looks to get physical with Stanford

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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Each school also has tough academic standards that can make it harder to recruit top athletes. But it's also what attracts some top players, such as Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who also considered going to Stanford.

"You want to get the best educational experience, and what better place to do that at than Notre Dame and Stanford?" he said.

Te'o has had two of his best games against Stanford. He had 12 tackles in a 28-14 loss last season and a career-high 21 tackles in the 37-14 loss during his sophomore season.

"I love playing against this type of team," Te'o said. "It's just football, and they're going to keep running, running, running until you stop them."

One of Te'o's big responsibilities on Saturday will be stopping Stanford tailback Stepfan Taylor, who is 14th in the nation in rushing at 111 yards a game. Overshadowed the past three years by Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart, Taylor is on pace for his third straight 1,000-yard season.

"He's fast, he's strong, he's a powerful runner, and he keeps his legs moving, which makes it hard for opponents to bring him down," Te'o said.

This is Stanford's second road game of the season, following a 17-13 loss at Washington on Sept. 27. The Cardinal are 3-10 at Notre Dame Stadium.

"That's going to be the big test. That's our gauntlet. Can we play our best game on the road?" Shaw said.

For the Irish, the test will be matching up physically with Stanford.

"They know ultimately that they can't win this playing a finesse game," Kelly said. "They've got to win it by beating them at what they do well."