Florida State (8-4) vs Notre Dame (8-4)
This game should actually be quite entertaining. Most of Notre Dame’s games this year were fun to watch. The Irish found ways to lose games early and the ineptitude of their offense nearly caused coach Brian Kelly to bust a few veins in his forehead. (Pic included)
In all seriousness, Notre Dame had a few struggles early, but Kelly found a way to get the Irish to wins over Michigan State and …. thats it. Notre Dame did not beat USC, they did not beat Stanford, and they did not beat Michigan. Those losses are the most important games to Notre Dame fans outside of the Michigan State game and the Irish fell short in all of them. The closest game was Michigan, and that took a defensive collapse and an offensive miracle for the Irish to lose.
Kelly’s sideline tactics have been questioned all season. As a very vocal guy, Kelly is going to show emotion when things go wrong, that’s just who he is and Irish fans will either have to live with it or find someone who will just stand there silently.
On the other sideline, Jimbo Fisher is in his second year as the Seminoles head coach, and has not exactly had the season that he was projected to have.
The Noles struggled early against Oklahoma, Clemson, and Wake Forest before winning six of their last seven games. If the Noles are going to win, they are going to need EJ Manuel to have a big game, it’s that simple.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees will be on a very short leash with Andrew Hendrix waiting for a slip up. The Irish also have Cierre Wood and Michael Floyd at their disposal, both can change the outcome of the game early.
Unfortunately, the Noles are pretty much going to have to rely on Manuel to do everything. They do not have the breakout players that Notre Dame has so defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will need to have his guys focused if they want to win this game.
While Florida State has finished strong, I do not think that they will be able to hang with the special players that Notre Dame has.
Notre Dame 24 – Florida State 17