Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Florida State
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, October 16, 2014
Senior Sports Writer
There’s been no shortage of noise this week in South Bend and Tallahassee.
But the only noise Saturday night will be the Seminole faithful inside a raucous Doak Campbell Stadium. Notre Dame will venture into true enemy territory for the first time this season, and the defending national champions and No. 2 team in the country will greet the Irish.
Simply put, Florida State figures to put up points. The Jameis Winston-led offense should be effective against a young Irish defense.
So how will Everett Golson fare? The Irish quarterback can’t turn the ball over much — if at all — and get away with it.
Based on the last few weeks, I don’t like the chances of Golson playing a nearly perfect game.
FINAL SCORE : Florida State 34, Notre Dame 20
Ten — that’s the number of turnovers Notre Dame has had in its last three games.
Yes, the Irish emerged from all of those games with wins, but they didn’t face any teams that can capitalize off turnovers the way Florida State will.
And that’s what makes the difference this Saturday. The Seminoles may not be running through teams the way they did last year, but they still have an explosive offense, quick defense and, oh, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner — you may have heard of him.
The Notre Dame defense will put up a respectable showing in its biggest test to date, but look for repeated offensive mistakes to put the Irish in a deficit from which they won’t quite be able to emerge.
FINAL SCORE : Florida State 31, Notre Dame 24
Assistant Managing Editor
Florida State will have Jameis Winston, national champion swagger and a rowdy home crowd on its side.
Notre Dame brings a defense that has been solid other than in last week’s mess of a game against North Carolina. And they bring an offfense that will — well, what will it do?
Through all six games, Notre Dame has either scored big (Rice, Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse, North Carolina) or had a big moment (Stanford). But the turnover story is quite different between the first three games and the most recent three.
If the recent string of turnovers stays with the Irish and messes with their heads, they’re in trouble against the Seminoles. A clean game, though, gives Notre Dame a real chance.
FINAL SCORE: Florida State 31, Notre Dame 28
Assistant Managing Editor
The Irish — more specifically Everett Golson — gave three touchdowns to North Carolina but came out on top.
The key will be for Golson to take care of the ball. Florida State’s defense is not what it was last season, so if he can do that, the Irish will score.
Florida State is no North Carolina, but Notre Dame is better suited to play the Seminoles than it was to play the Tar Heel offense. After getting caught off-guard too many times last week, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will make the necessary adjustments.
Notre Dame plays to the level of its competition, and the Seminoles are ranked No. 2 in the country. Although Florida State has the reigning Heisman winner, the Irish will play up to and beyond the level of its competition in this shootout.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 38, Florida State 34
Notre Dame came out of its win against Stanford with as much momentum as it had had all season. The Irish squeezed out a close win and proved they could defeat the nation’s top defense.
One week later, they barely beat North Carolina in a shootout that should’ve been a blowout.
Notre Dame can’t play that type of game and expect to beat Florida State. Its defense can’t let a Seminole offense that averages 39 points per game run through it. The Irish offense can’t relinquish multiple turnovers to a defense that will give the ball to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
Based on the inconsistent way the Irish have played over the last few games, I’m not sure they can have that strong a game on both sides of the ball.
FINAL SCORE : Florida State 27, Notre Dame 17