Four downs with Chase Thomas

Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas talks about the team keeping its composure with all of the distractions heading into Saturday's game against Notre Dame.

First down: This is the third straight emotional game for you guys. How is the team holding up?

Thomas: We're good. We just can't be distracted by everything. The Senior Day, the pro combat jerseys. We just have to go out and focus on the getting the W and closing out the season.

Second down: Is Senior Day a distraction?

Thomas: Sort of. You get caught up on where your parents are at, all of the things that go along with that. But I think we have a mature enough team to handle all of that stuff.

Third down: Notre Dame lost one of its emotional leaders in Jonas Gray. You guys know something about that. How much will that impact this game?

Thomas: They still have a great running back in Cierre Wood, so they will be OK in the running game. But when you lose someone -- we lost an emotional leader in Shayne Skov -- you have to be able rebound and other guys have to step up and I think that's what we were able to do for the most part. They should be fine.

Fourth down: What are some of the other challenges Notre Dame presents on offense?

Thomas: They have a great wide receiver (Michael Floyd). They move him around a lot at the line of scrimmage and find ways to get him open. And like the teams we've played the last couple of weeks, they have a big, physical offensive line that is going to be a real challenge for us.