"They physically intimidate their opponent," Kelly said Tuesday, "and that's clear."
Kelly's seventh-ranked Irish (5-0) get to see that in person Saturday when the 17th-ranked Cardinal (4-1) visit Notre Dame Stadium.
Stanford has won three straight in the series and knocked off USC earlier this season. Kelly rattled off a number of Stanford standouts, including running back Stepfan Taylor, who is averaging 112 rushing yards per game. Taylor ran for 118 yards last year against the Irish and 108 the previous season.
"You can see he's the heart of their football team," Kelly said.
As many weapons as Stanford brings, though, Kelly's focus is on his team.
"We'll have to get better as a football team this week," Kelly said, his team fresh off a 41-3 trouncing of Miami last Saturday. "If they follow the plan, the plan's worked pretty good. It's about us, and what we can do today."
A win Saturday would give the Irish their 14th win in their last 17 games.
Notre Dame has never beaten Stanford when the Cardinal are ranked in the top 25. Kickoff is set for 3:39 p.m. (Eastern).