On Thursday, December 29th, at 5:31 pm EST, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the Seminoles of Florida State in the …
Yep, the Champs Sports Bowl.
My, how the mighty have fallen. These two teams once played in the “Game of the Century” in 1993 as ND outlasted Charlie Ward and the Seminoles. Florida State and Notre Dame elicit a wave of emotions among college football fanatics. However, both programs are struggling with well-documented rebuilding challenges.
Notre Dame’s quarterback situation is a mess. Tommy Rees has regressed badly this season leaving a gaping hole under center. Andrew Hendrix provided a spark off the bench against Stanford, but is he the future Irish fans clamored for? Expect to see both signal callers on the field for the Irish. The key will be whether or not Michael Floyd can be a factor. He has been fighting the flu all week in practice.
If Floyd puts up big numbers, the Irish will win.
The season-ending injury to Jonas Gray means the Irish will have to rely heavily on Cierre Wood and on-again, off-again running back Theo Riddick out of the backfield.
So all this is to say that the Irish’s fortune will be in the hands of Floyd and Wood.
On the other sidelines, FSU quarterback EJ Emanuel is the offensive cog. His early-season injury hurt the Seminoles as they lost three straight. Florida State’s defense is its decided strength. The unit ranks 4th nationally in points against in only giving up a stingy 15.2 points per game. Then again, outside of Clemson, the ACC did not have a wealth of high-powered offenses during the 2011 campaign.
With all that said, this looks like a close game on paper and hopefully will be on the field as it would be really nice to see a GOOD Bowl Game sometime soon.
Notre Dame is looking for its third straight bowl victory, which is very refreshing considering the 9-game bowl losing streak the Irish had been on prior to Chucky’s victory in Hawaii.
The Champ Sports Bowl is played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. I hope you are prepared to see many “filler” pieces during the broadcast of the respective teams enjoying the vast offerings of Disney World and the Magic Kingdom.
Speaking of the broadcast, ESPN has chosen Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore as the announcing team. As many college fans know, Rod and Joe somehow manage to find themselves in the midst of some crazy games and exciting finishes. Also, since this is Florida State playing, there must be a Jenn Sterger influence, right?
I mean, she helped 15,000 red-blooded males decide to attend the State University in Tallahassee.I put the over/under of Jenn Sterger mentions at two. I will take the under.
So, if things stay the same, and as we know, they do, we should expect some hi-jinx and craziness right around Mickey’s bedtime in Orlando.
A victory in the Champs Sports Bowl could be a good stepping stone for one of these storied institutions to get back on the right track.
Jimbo Fisher and Brian Kelly must deliver and deliver often to avoid the hot seat. As both are prepared to close out the second year at their respective universities, a victory would be a good way to begin the offseason and provide great confidence going into spring practice.