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Notre Dame Football

Kyren Williams Focused on Finishing 11-1

November 26, 2021

Kyren Williams will enter Saturday's game with 928 rushing yards on the season. 

If the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder rushes for 72 yards, Williams would have put together back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons.

It would be an impressive feat as the Notre Dame run game fought through inexperience and inconsistency for half the season. 

The growth is why Williams believes Notre Dame should have a chance at the College Football Playoff if the Irish take care of business at Stanford on Saturday night. 

"We struggled early on to gel together as a team," stated Williams. "I think later on in the season after Virginia Tech, we really took it to a different gear. You can see we play with a different mindset. 

"The defense hasn't let up a touchdown in three games. That's a different type of stat you don't see regularly. I feel like we're all playing complementary football. We're coming together to show the world who we are and what we do when we play football." 

That said, Williams isn't one to worry about where Notre Dame stands in the playoff rankings. 

The St. Louis native hasn't watched the rankings show as he doesn't have cable in his apartment. 

"I wouldn't say I don't care," explained Williams. "It's not something I'm worried about. I got a paper I have to do, but those things, I'm just trying to stay present. 

"What we've been told since the summer and the beginning of the season, if we play the way we do and stay true to who we are, we're going to be exactly where we want to at the end of the season. I firmly believe that. If you keep your head down and work, when you look up, it's going to reward the right people."

Taking care of business starts in Palo Alto and the Irish will face one of the worst run defenses in the country.

The Cardinal defense gives up 241.7 rushing yards a game, so there is potential for the Notre Dame backs to have a big night. 

"Stanford, they're in and out of three and four down, so that's really big on us as running backs and the running scheme," Williams said. "We have to be able to see what kind of front they're in and what defense they're running. 

"Whenever they're in man, we have weapons we can use to attack. You want to take advantage of what they give us and how they give it to us." 

If all goes well, Williams will get the chance to see freshman Audric Estime carry the rock on Saturday night and perhaps without a hurdle attempt. 

"He thought about it," laughed Williams. "If it was there, it would have been nice, but you live and you learn. Not everyone is perfect, so I don't ever make fun of him. At least he tried, I haven't ever tried." 

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