Notre Dame has not played a game since September 19th. A postponed Irish versus Wake Forest and then a bye week has put Notre Dame in an interesting position early in the season. This week though the Irish are finally getting back on the field ranked No. 5 in the nation. Notre Dame will play Florida State this week after a win against Jacksonville State a week ago.
Notre Dame Plays Florida State
The Irish have played Duke and South Florida already this season. Neither was overwhelming, that’s not saying that Notre Dame will have difficulty with Florida State this week, but the Seminoles will be the strongest opponent the Irish have faced so far this season. After starting the season with a loss to Georgia Tech, Florida State was handled by Miami. They will look to improve against the Irish this week. Notre Dame has had a week and a half to prepare for this game against the Seminoles, but much of that preparing was without players that were in isolation. How will this method of preparing affect the Irish this week?
Irish Offense Against the Florida State Defense
Quarterback Ian Book enters this game with 406 passing yards, three rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown, and one interception. The Seminoles defense gave up 53 points to Miami in week two and 24 to Jacksonville State a week later. What needs to be noted here is that Florida State has allowed the majority of points scored in the first half of each game. If the Irish can make this trend continue and get out to an early lead, it is unlikely that the Seminoles will be able to keep up.
The rushing attack for Notre Dame has been very strong this season, hence the lower stats for Book. Kyren Williams has two touchdowns through the first two games. Further, freshman Chris Tyree has one score. In addition, C’Bo Flemister also has one touchdown through two games this season. With the first two games handled by the rushing attack, including Book, in the first two games, fans will likely see the quarterback throw a little bit more this week. The Florida State pass rush has not been very strong through the first three games. Look for Book to try to exploit that this week with his speedy receivers. Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees will need to account for one major player in the Seminoles secondary, Asante Samuel Jr., yes that Samuel. The junior has three interceptions through the first three games this season. He also has a fumble recovery to go along with 16 total tackles. Although, he is third in tackles on the team, so that shows some of the struggles Florida State is having this season.
Seminoles Offense Against Notre Dame Defense
It must be noted that the Notre Dame defense has not been overly tested through their first two games. They allowed just 13 points this season, all against Duke in week one. Although Florida State has only won one game early in this season, the Seminoles are likely going to be the toughest offense the Irish have faced this far. Further, Notre Dame only has two turnovers this season. Florida State has not had consistency at quarterback this season. They will be starting their third quarterback through three games. On Monday, redshirt sophomore, Jordan Travis was informed that he won the job after bringing life to the Seminoles offense last week against Jacksonville State. Travis is a dual-threat quarterback that has the ability to change things up with his legs. If the first three games are any indication, don’t rule out another quarterback, such as James Blackman, who started against Georgia Tech and Miami, to enter the game at some point this week. Regardless of who is in at quarterback, the Irish defense shouldn’t have too much trouble this a Florida State defense that has been struggling.
Notre Dame will take on Florida State after having two weeks off due to COVID-19 and a Bye week. The No. 5 ranked Irish look to move to 3-0 on the season against a struggling Seminoles team that is coming into this game 1-2. The game will air at 7:30 pm ET on NBC this Saturday, October 10th.