Florida State football is back as the Seminoles take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 7:30 on Sunday on ABC.
Notre Dame is ranked 9th in the preseason poll after a 10-2 2020 campaign.
The ‘Noles are 6-4 all-time against the Irish with the last win coming in 2014.
Florida State offense vs Notre Dame defense
FSU Projected Starters: QB Jordan Travis/McKenzie Milton, RBs Jashaun Corbin and Lawrence Toafili, TE Camren McDonald, WRs Keyshawn Helton and Ontaria Wilson, OTs Darius Washington and Robert Scott, OGs Dillan Gibbons and Davontay Love-Taylor, C Maurice Smith.
When it comes down to the first play I believe Jordan Travis will be the starting quarterback. Travis, who is a great runner, has turned heads in practice with his improvement in the passing game. Travis also had a great game in 2020 in South Bend throwing for 204 yards and running for another 98.
FSU returns every starter but one and added some depth everywhere so the offense should be able to score lots of points this year. Notre Dame has plenty of experience and talent (S Kyle Hamilton and DE Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa are players to keep an eye on) to make it difficult for the Seminoles to score enough to win. I’m interested to see how the Irish will deal with Lawrence Toafili’s versatility and how FSU true freshman receivers Malik McClain and Josh Burrell will contribute to the offense.
Florida State defense vs Notre Dame offense
FSU Projected Starters: DE Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas, DT Fabian Lovett and Dennis Briggs, LB Amari Gainer and Stephen Dix, S Akeem Dent, Brendan Gant and Jammie Robinson, CB Travis Jay and Jarvis Brownlee.
We will find out if the FSU defense has improved in a hurry against star running back Kyren Williams and the always talented and mammoth Notre Dame offensive line. FSU’s biggest problems on defense last year was allowing running backs to get outside and slowing down tight ends and slot receivers in the middle of the field.
In last year’s match-up, Notre Dame rushed for 352 yards with most of damage coming from outside runs. Transfer defensive ends Johnson and Thomas will need to stay disciplined on run plays to keep Williams and his backup, Chris Tyree, from ripping big plays.
ND quarterback Jack Coan isn’t the most mobile guy but can be very accurate if given the time. His most important target is tight end Michael Mayer (42 receptions for 450 yards in 2020)
Kicker: FSU Ryan Fitzgerald < ND Jonathan Doerer. Punter: FSU Alex Mastromammo > ND Jay Bramblett. I’ll give special teams a push.
I think FSU will finish 7-5 with an upset win and a loss against a team they’re supposed to beat. I don’t think that upset will happen Sunday night, but it will be a tight game going into the fourth quarter. Notre Dame 38 FSU 32.