Notre Dame Football Primer: Irish return to take on Florida State Seminoles

After a long quarantine by Notre Dame Football, the Fighting Irish appear optimistic for the matchup this Saturday against Florida State. Even though the Seminoles come limping into this contest, these programs are two of college football’s blue bloods. Since their last game, the Irish have moved up to the #5 spot in the country and will look to solidify their ranking this Saturday night.

Essential Game Info:

  • Game Time: October 10th at 7:30 pm ET on NBC
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
  • Matchup History: The Irish are 3-6 all-time against the Florida State Seminoles (Last Meeting 2018: Notre Dame won 42 to 13).
  • Current Odds: Notre Dame -20.5

Weather Forecast

The current forecast for GameDay shows a 0% chance of rain with a high of 76 degrees and a low of 53.

Florida State Details

  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
  • Head Coach: Mike Norvell
  • 2020 Record: 1-2 (0-2)
  • 2019 Record: 6-7 (4-4)

Florida State Storylines

Mike Norvell takes over in Tallahassee. In four seasons at Memphis, Norvell went 38-15 overall, with a 12-1 record last year punctuated by a Cotton Bowl appearance. He is best known for his high-tempo and spread offenses that brought him success while coaching the Memphis Tigers.

Even though Florida State is off to a slow start this season, if Norvell can bring this style of football to the Seminoles and recruit in-state talent, he may be the coach that can bring the program back to glory.

Florida State quarterback carousel. After a 1-2 start to the season, the Seminoles have had several different players under center. Long time Florida State quarterback James Blackmon was benched last week in favor of Tate Rodemaker. When Rodemaker got off to a slow start against Jacksonville State, sophomore Jordan Travis took over the offense.

Travis is 13 for 20 with 222 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one interception on the season. He has 24 attempts for 139 yards (5.8 yards per carry) with a touchdown on the ground. Regardless of who starts at quarterback this Saturday, it will be tough to get any momentum against the Notre Dame Defense.

Notre Dame Storylines

COVID-19 spreads throughout the Notre Dame Football program. The pandemic forced the University to shut down earlier in the semester and, more recently, the Irish to postpone the Wake Forest matchup. Thankfully, a bye-week was already built into the schedule. As of now, it looks like Notre Dame Football will be back for the Florida State game this Saturday.

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Fans should have their fingers crossed all season because there is no guarantee this will not happen again. Even Florida State Head Coach Mike Norvell contracted the virus a few weeks ago.

Can the passing attack flourish this Saturday? The biggest area of concern this fall has been the inconsistency of Ian Book and the passing game. Book is a fifth-year senior and missed several “lay-ups” through the first few games. Tommy Rees and Ian Book have a lot to work on in preparation for the momentous matchup that looms over the Irish on November 7th against #1 Clemson.

Irish are still looking for their “go-to” receivers. Last fall, the Irish had NFL talent in Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool, who helped Notre Dame go toe-to-toe with the Georgia Bulldogs. For now, the Irish do not require such elite receivers to get past their opponents. However, in a little over a month, they will need these types of receivers to beat Clemson.

Tommy Tremble has appeared to be the top target thus far, but no other receiver on the roster has more than four catches. Ideally, when the Irish are fully healthy with Braden Lenzy, Ben Skowronek, and Kevin Austin Jr., these players will be Ian Book’s top targets.

Head to Head Matchups

Notre Dame Offense vs. Florida State Defense: The sample size is still small for both teams, but the Irish Offense was able to explode against South Florida in their last contest. On the other side, the Seminoles have allowed 31 points per game thus far.

It is crazy to think the Irish Offense has yet to hit their stride and the team is sitting at #5 in the country. Once players return and the chemistry continues to develop, expect Notre Dame to become even more dominant.

Advantage: Notre Dame

Florida State Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense: The Seminole Offense has averaged 21 points per game through their first three matchups. In his first season, Mike Norvell has struggled to find a primary quarterback to lead the offense. The Seminoles will be going against one of the nation’s best defenses, led by Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea.

The Irish have only conceded a single touchdown through two games. It will be difficult for Florida State to put points on the board, more less score a touchdown on this unit.

Advantage: Notre Dame

Special Teams: Florida State has used two kickers this season, Parker Grothaus and Ryan Fitzgerald. Combine, the two kickers are 3 for 5 this fall. Conversely, Jonathan Doerer is 3 for 4 with a long of 48 yards.

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Notre Dame may have found a permanent home run threat in the kick return game in freshman Chris Tyree, however, do not expect many return attempts this Saturday against Florida State.

Advantage: Notre Dame

My Prediction

Florida State was added to the schedule when Notre Dame Football decided to join the ACC for the 2020 football season. Brian Kelly and the Irish will also travel to Tallahassee next year to kickoff the 2021 season. As far as this weekend’s matchup is concerned, I believe it will resemble the 2018 game where the Irish defeated the Seminoles 42 to 13.

This will be another great opportunity to show the country that the Irish are just as dominant as any other program. It will also be a great chance to continue to develop this offense in preparation for the November 7th matchup against Clemson.

I have the Irish winning by 36 points and expect to see players stepping up in the receiving game this weekend.

Prediction: Notre Dame 49 Florida State 13

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