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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: Cardinal face intimidating defense in South Bend

Josh Nunes and the 17th-ranked Stanford Cardinal face a pretty intimidating defense this weekend in Manti Te'o and the 7th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Jason O. Watson - Getty Images

The 17th-ranked Stanford Cardinal face one of their stiffer tests this season when they battle the 7th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Stanford has performed well at home in winning all four of their contests there (including victories over USC and Arizona), and they'll look to win their first road game of the year after getting upset in Seattle in a 17-13 loss to the Washington Huskies.

Stanford will hope their defense can be the equal of Notre Dame's. Manti Te'o and the Irish defense have not allowed anyone into the end zone three games running, and their scoring defense currently trails only Alabama's. Josh Nunes is still trying to get his bearings as the successor to Andrew Luck, and his comeback performance against Arizona was an encouraging sign. But he struggled in a road environment in Seattle, and Notre Dame's defense will be forcing him to look for any openings. Stepfan Taylor might need to make a big play, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo will have to try and get behind the Notre Dame defense, and Stanford's defense might have to create some opportunities this weekend if the Cardinal are to pull the road upset.