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Kelly expects Notre Dame-Stanford game to come down to inches, just like last year's Irish win

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    Brigham Young quarterback Taysom Hill throws a pass which is knocked down by Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, left, in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 23-13. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)The Associated Press

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    Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees encourages the students in the final seconds of the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 23-13. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)The Associated Press

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    California running back Brendan Bigelow (5) is tackled for a loss by Stanford linebacker Jarek Lancaster (35) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Stanford won 65-13. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Associated Press

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    Stanford head coach David Shaw watches from the sidelines against California during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Stanford won 65-13. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Associated Press

Although eighth-ranked Stanford is a two-touchdown favorite against No. 25 Stanford, Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly is expecting a close game.

Kelly said Tuesday he expects it to be a game of inches, just like it was last season when the Irish won on a goal-line stand in overtime.

Kelly believes the Irish (8-3) have a chance if they have a turnover or less, can have an effective running game, can eliminate big plays and hold the Cardinal (9-2) to no more than 20 points.

Stanford is third in the nation against the run, giving up just 89.5 yards a game, and average 33.4 points a game. The Cardinal also has won 15 straight at home, the second-longest streak in the nation.