The long, never-ending off-season is finally over tonight. Notre Dame and Florida State square off in primetime on the Labor Day weekend Sunday night showcase matchup. With less than 12 hours to kickoff, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to get ready for tonight.
Countdown to Kickoff
- Kickoff: 7:30 PM ET
- Doak Campbell Stadium
- Tallahassee, FL
- Capacity: 79,560 (Bermuda Grass)
- Opposing Coach: MIke Norvell – 2nd year at Florida State, 3-6 record
How to Watch Notre Dame Today
Tonight’s game will be broadcast on ABC at 7:30 PM ET with play-by-play commentary from Joe Tessitore and color commentary by Greg McElroy. The game will also be broadcast on SIRUS satellite radio channel 179 and on the Notre Dame radio network (96.1 FM, 101.5 FM & 960 AM in South Bend) with play by play by Paul Burmeister and commentary by former Notre Dame OL Ryan Harris.
The lastest forecast for Tallahassee is calling for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 80’s and barely any chance of rain (2%). Those conditions should give us a clean game and the temps in the low 80’s shouldn’t cause too much of an issue for either team – especially with humidity levels in the 50-60% range.
The only major injury for either team to note is the preseason camp loss of WILL linebacker Marist Liufau for the Fighting Irish. Liufau was expected to be a wildcard in the Irish defense and key chess piece for new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. Junior JD Bertrand will start in his place but expect to see a number of linebackers used by Notre Dame including Shayne Simon and potentially some of ROVER Jack Kiser at the WILL.
Last Minute Story Lines
No official starting QB for Florida State. Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell is attempting to play a bit of gamesmanship by not naming his starting quarterback until kickoff. Jordan Travis is expected to start from media reports, but transfer McKenzie Milton will probably see the field as well even if Travis starts.
The whole “not naming a starting quarterback til kickoff” is an age old tactic that usually doesn’t really give the team employing it much of an advantage. Remember when Charlie Weis waited until kickoff against Georgia Tech in 2007 to name Demetrius Jones the starter? How did that work out for Notre Dame?
How will the new-look Irish OL hold up? We all know by now that Notre Dame’s OL has been completely overhauled after four linemen from 2020 landed in the NFL (3 on rosters and 1 on a practice squad). How they hold up tonight will determine if this game is close, or if the Irish win comfortably. If they hold up and gel quickly, Notre Dame wins easy. If they don’t it could be a longer night than anyone wants.
Watching Texas A&M struggle with Kent State last, it gave me some pause for tonight. Like the Irish, the Aggies replaced a long-time starting QB and four of their offensive linemen this offseason. They struggled to get their footing early and didn’t pull away from a MAC team until late. Florida State isn’t what they once were, but they are better than a MAC team.
Will Jack Coan make Wisconsin fans even more miserable today? Wisconsin lost an ugly, ugly game to Penn State yesterday. Forget the whole “ah this was a classic Big Ten game” routine. It was a classic “ugly as hell football game between two teams who can’t play offense.” In the process, the Wisconsin golden boy, Graham Mertz did not do a whole lot to instill confidence in the Badger faithful. Mertz assumed the starting role over Coan when he got hurt last year and was anointed the starter moving forward before Coan transferred to Notre Dame.
If Coan has a big game tonight – and it’s certainly possible with Notre Dame’s weapons. There will be some second-guessing – even more than is already taking place – in Madison tonight. Go get ’em, Jack!
Will Kevin Austin be unleashed? We have heard for years that Kevin Austin was going to be the next great Notre Dame wide receiver. suspensions and injuries have robbed him of that opportunity and us of the opportunity to see him play. By all accounts Austin is ready for takeoff in 2021 and tonight could be the first of many big games for the former top-100 recruit.
Latest Notre Dame Line & Betting Odds
As of Sunday morning, ~ 10:00 AM the line is still holding at Notre Dame -7 which still seems absolutely incredible to me. This suggests that most of the money has still been placed on The Seminoles since the line open with Notre Dame around -11. There is still a chance this thing moves late if some of the late money from the pros comes pouring in on Notre Dame like I would expect it to.