The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 13, 2012

Irish looking to get physical

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame wants to slug it out with Stanford.

The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish (5-0) were pushed around by the Cardinal (4-1) the past two seasons, and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is challenging his players to go toe-to-toe with No. 17 Stanford today.

“The theme all week has been, we’re going to be in for a physical, hard-nosed, four quarters, of just one of those good old-fashioned backyard brawls. It’s going to be that kind of game,” Kelly said. “We got our guys thinking about that on Monday and kept building through the week. That’s really been the theme this week for our football team.”

Asked about Stanford trying to intimidate opponents, Kelly cut off the questioner.

“They don’t try. They do,” he said.

Notre Dame is off to its best start in a decade, but Stanford has dominated the long-running series of late. The Cardinal have won three straight for their first winning streak against the Irish.

Each school has tough academic standards that can make it harder to recruit top athletes. But it also attracts some players, such as Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who 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 today 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.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Mercury not thinking streak

    Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury are closing in on one of the greatest records in WNBA history, the Los Angeles Sparks’ 18-game winning streak. To equal that mark, the Mercury need to win two more games, starting with defending ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014