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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: Experts predicting close game between Irish and Cardinal

Close, defensive minded game expected between Fighting Irish and Cardinal.

Ezra Shaw - Getty Images

Always an anticipated match up, Saturday's Notre Dame Fighting Irish-Stanford Cardinal game is getting some extra spotlight because of both teams better than expected starts. Both teams offenses have struggled most of the season, save Stanford's 54 point outburst against Arizona last week. Notre Dame's hot start, their best since 2006, and home field advantage aren't going in this match up of the rival schools. ESPN's Kevin Gemmell and Ted Miller are picking a Fighting Irish. Gemmell has the Irish winning 24-17, while Miller has them winning 24-20.

Meanwhile, closer to Palo Alto, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News' College Hotline is predicting an even closer game, with an even lower score and even picking a Stanford victory.

Stanford's performance in its only other road game (Washington) makes me wonder about its ability to not only move the ball but also find the end zone from the red zone. But that's probably a few too many points in what could be a 3-2 game ... OK, maybe 13-12. Pick: Stanford.

Saturday's game from South Bend kicks off at 12:30 p.m. PT.