#3 Notre Dame Football Game Preview: Week 10 vs Florida State Seminoles

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You can’t ask for a more college football blue blood match-up than this. The Notre Dame football program will have their 2018 Senior Day under the lights when they welcome the Florida State Seminoles to South Bend. FSU are in serious danger of seeing their current streak of 41 consecutive winning seasons come to an end. That number of 41 is good for 2nd in FBS history, trailing only the 42 straight accomplished by, wait for it, Notre Dame 1889-1932.

FSU’s 36 straight bowl game appearance streak is in serious jeopardy too. Should this streak, which began with the 1982 Gator Bowl, come to an end, it will still be the #1 streak ever in this regard. Nebraska went to 35 bowls from 1969-2003. The next highest current active streak is Virginia Tech at 25.

Florida State Seminoles vs #3 Notre Dame Football FYIs

Kickoff/TV/Radio: 7:37 pm EST, NBC, Mike Tirico (play-by-play) Doug Flutie (analysis),  SiriusXM (Channel 129) Paul Burmeister (play-by-play) Ryan Harris (analysis)

SPREAD: Notre Dame -18

Florida State Seminoles Preview: 

To put it mildly, this not your father’s or older brother’s FSU football program. If you’re an underclassmen, this is not your upperclassmen’s Seminoles football. As Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly just said in his weekly news conference, the Noles have gotten better as the season has gone on.

One reporter then pointed out to Kelly that the Noles have given up 106 points the past two weeks. Kelly responded by pointing out how Florida State wasn’t even competitive in some games early on. Kelly also praised the Noles talent, especially at the skill positions.

The Seminoles are looking to get their second win of the season against a team where the largest component of their fan base in based in the Chicagoland region. FSU beat Northern Illinois handily back on Sept 22nd. Not many people are really giving FSU a chance here, but at least one pundit sees this game as a potential trip wire for the Fighting Irish.

Washington State legend and arguably the greatest NFL Draft bust of all time Ryan Leaf granted us an exclusive interview this week, and he sees the Noles as the game during the run in here which should provide the most worry for the Irish.

Leaf believes Notre Dame football will finish undefeated, but also that FSU is a bigger stumbling block than Syracuse or USC.

Read all that Leaf had to say about this game over at this link. Leaf praised the QB play in Tallahassee, and it’s true that both Deondre Francois and James Blackmon can ball out. Coach Willie Taggart said at his news conference yesterday that he’ll decide his QB1 for this game later this week.

For all on what Francois has accomplished and on what he has the potential to do, read this link. Kelly also praised the edge rushing abilities of Brian Burns, the FSU DE with high NFL Draft stock. Go here for more on Burns. Florida State has talent, and everyone knows that, even in spite of the disastrous start to the Willie Taggart regime.

The problem area, and it’s not one that they’re going to be able to solve until another recruiting cycle or two, is the offensive line. At certain points this season, it looked like the unit might actually do better if they placed a member(s) of the Golden Girls into the unit.

brian burns

Both Golden Girls, the 1980s sitcom set in Miami or the FSU dance team. Also, “thank you for being a friend” if you’re still actually reading on in this preview after that terrible joke. With Florida State such heavy underdogs in this one, they’ll need to hold a massive advantage in turnover margin in order to pull off the upset.

Secure the bag! Luckily we had an “exclusive” with the bag earlier this season. You can read that interview here.

I asked Notre Dame CB Julian Love if the team has to take on a single game elimination mentality now as the season wraps up. 

“I think so, but maybe for other teams,” Love said.

“Because for us everyone is going to give us their best shot, and that’s though to handle, and we have to focus on what he have to do, given we know the opponent is going to be fired up.”

“Florida State- they’re going to give us all they got, they’re going to try and knock us out, and that single elimination mentality, I think it is always there, but we’re not going to let it hijack the moment.” 

deondre francois

Notre Dame Football Preview: 

Love also says the ND defense “is like awakening a sleeping beast when games are close.” You saw that this past Saturday when Northwestern closed the gap in crunch time. This Notre Dame football team responded, just as they have all season. 

“That’s the way we’ve won this year, we haven’t given up the big plays,” said Kelly. Some interesting notes, tidbits and nuggets from the win over Northwestern, communicated by Notre Dame football SID Michael Bertsch:

Leader of the defense and team captain Drue Tranquill played through the pain last week at Northwestern and he’s slotted to be the first team Buck linebacker this week.

“He’s inspirational,” Kelly said of Tranquill postgame at Northwestern. “We didn’t know what exactly he could do until pregame. he did a lot more than we thought he could do. He’s really ascended this year. His maturity, his work ethic, the way we practices.” 

Kelly said today that with Tranquill it’s very hard to for medical staff or doctors to decide his status and availability for a given game. Tranquill is just that determined to play, no matter how he’s feeling.

drue tranquill

In 1993, No. 2 Notre Dame defeated No. 1 Florida State 31-24 on Nov. 13, 1993 at Notre Dame Stadium, in a contest dubbed “The Game of Century.” Don’t expect this one to be that close. Of course, it’s far from a foregone conclusion too.

As star receiver and British Columbia native Chase Claypool said: “You never know who can beat you. Last year, the rankings came out and then the Miami game happened.”

Prediction: Notre Dame Football 38, Florida State 17

Look for ND quarterback Ian Book to have a huge day. Likewise for ND defenders Jerry Tillery and Julian Okwara.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Lineups.com and Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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