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Staff predictions 2020: Florida State Seminoles

| Friday, October 9, 2020

Hayden Adams — Sports Editor

And we’re back! It’s been a long two weeks since the Irish postponed their game against Wake Forest. Now they’re looking down the barrel at Florida State. The Seminoles are presumably looking down their own barrel, but theirs is essentially the barrel of a BB or Nerf gun. Remember when Louisville went 2-10 two seasons ago when Bobby Petrino got fired and their players all quit on the season? Bet money the Seminoles players would have done the exact same thing three games in if they lost to FCS opponent Jacksonville State this past weekend, and with games against Notre Dame, North Carolina, Louisville and Pitt in succession, I don’t think it will be too long before they eventually do take a mulligan on the year.

FSU dropped a 16-13 decision to Georgia Tech, a game in which they blocked two field goals and intercepted two passes and still came out the losing end. Their talent eventually overwhelmed JSU, but against archival Miami they laid down and got run over to the tune of 317 passing yards and 200 rushing in a 52-10 trouncing. Put bluntly, there’s no conceivable way Notre Dame should lose this game, and they could probably have won with 39 players in quarantine and isolation.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 34, FSU 17


Jimmy Ward — Associate Sports Editor

No. 5-ranked, yes — number: five; nationally: ranked — Notre Dame, against … an unranked Florida State. This game would be a lot more exciting if the Seminoles were as intimidating as they were under Jimbo Fisher. But that’s not the case here. The situation at FSU is turbulent to say the least. Mike Norvell had to win over not just his fan base but his own roster, and now, as he sits at 1-2, he faces a tough match in Notre Dame. That is, if this Notre Dame team is in the same place it was two week ago. But the last two weeks for the Irish could be described as turbulent, too.

Notre Dame football was overshadowed by one of the wildest national news stories in our country’s history that its University was directly involved in. This football team has certainly seen a thing or two in the past couple of weeks. To echo probably just about every coach in the country right now, the biggest opponent for every team is not necessarily one that is on their schedule. But the fact of the matter is Notre Dame is the fifth best college football team in the country at the moment, and they should trample FSU. The only way the Seminoles would muster up a win would be if the Irish were not able to handle this two week break well and they hand a win directly to their opponent. Unless Norvell has a trick up his sleeve with his shifty redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis, I cannot see how he will come out of South Bend in a better situation than he is in now: fighting to keep his team above water.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, FSU 16

Charlotte Edmonds — Senior Sports Writer

Has it actually been three weeks?! I feel like I just emerged from an alternate universe and somehow time froze in between. That frozen time will certainly be the hope for Notre Dame football as they try to fend off any rust they may have built up since routing USF 52-0. While there are bound to be some hiccups, it looks like the team is essentially back in full force just as the schedule is getting into full swing.

I expect Florida State will try to assert themselves from the first snap, maybe give Notre Dame a scare or two, but as the game goes on the Irish will continue to wear down the Seminoles. This is Florida State we’re talking about, so certainly nothing to scoff at, but they’ve lost the luster they once had in their prime. Not even a few token recruits can change this outcome. Irish cover the spread and move on to Louisville.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, FSU 10


Ellen Geyer — Senior Sports Writer

Life has felt kind of meaningless the past few weeks without Notre Dame football. Finally, hope has returned with the dawn of this week’s matchup against Florida State. I could see this game going one of two ways: 1. Notre Dame comes out flat, much like in the season opener against Duke, because a win’s a win, but the offense looks lackluster and there’s nothing to write home about; 2. Notre Dame comes out on a COVID revenge-tour, scoring early and often, much the way it did against USF. I hope for the second option, and in my past life I’d say the first is more likely, but I’m trying to be more optimistic this year (what can I say, maybe I’ve gone soft with age). So for all intents and purposes, let’s say we’re going through door number two.
To be blunt, Florida State is bad. Head coach Mike Norvell has yet to find a rhythm in his first season with a tenure disrupted by his own bout of coronavirus in mid-September. His squad’s 0-2 in-conference, and the season’s single victory came against FCS opponent Jacksonville State, who still managed to put up 24 points in the loss. That seems pretty concerning, considering the Seminoles pride themselves on being “DBU.” Though the Irish offense hasn’t quite found its rhythm through the air. A few weeks off have hopefully given Ian Book a chance to get comfortable with his new receivers. Add in the return of Kyle Hamilton on the other side of the ball and Notre Dame will be a force to be reckoned with. Under the lights in South Bend, I think the Irish will take care of business quickly.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, FSU 10


Aiden Thomas — Sports Writer

Is it dramatic to say that if Notre Dame loses this game, I’ll transfer? Maybe a little bit, but this would be an absolutely devastating defeat to a train wreck of a squad in Florida State. The Seminoles have been atrocious this year, and they are yet to beat an FBS opponent. And one of those FBS opponents was Georgia Tech … who lost by 17 points to an abysmal Syracuse team. In two FBS contests, Florida State has combined for 23 points while surrendering 68. Expect Notre Dame’s defense, which has given up 13 points in two games, to completely shut down the Seminoles, while the Irish pound the rock with running backs like sophomore Kyren Williams, freshman Chris Tyree and junior C’Bo Flemister. Graduate student quarterback Ian Book gets junior receiver Kevin Austin back, as well as graduate transfer receiver Ben Skowronek, so the third-year starter will have some more weapons to utilize, and I anticipate Notre Dame getting on the board early and often.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 41, FSU 10
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