Notre Dame are up against it playing Florida State - VIDEO
Seminoles should have the measure of Fighting Irish
The No. 26 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4) will play the No. 25 Florida State Seminoles (8-4) in this year’s Champs Sports Bowl.
Date: Dec. 30th 2011
Kickoff: 5:30 PM
Site: Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Florida (70,000)
Television: ESPN (ESPN Radio)
Coaches: Notre Dame Brian Kelly (16-9, second season) Florida State-Jimbo Fisher (19-8, second season)
The Fighting Irish and the FSU Seminoles are no strangers to each other. Florida State has the edge overall the Irish in its six meetings (4-2). The two teams last squared off in Florida in Miami at the 1996 Orange Bowl that saw Florida State under Bobby Bowden down the Lou Holz-led Fighting Irish 31-26 back on January 1st of 1996. This rivalry is best known for its “game of the century” meeting in 1993 in a pairing of no.1 vs. no.2 won by the Irish.
Notre Dame looks to regroup after a humiliating end of regular season loss to the Stanford Cardinals. The quarterback drama appears to be settled as Tommy Rees is given the OK to start for the Irish after misgivings by Coach Kelly. Andrew Hendrix will be the only other option at quarterback as the team’s initial seaon starter, Dayne Crist. Asked for his official release from the team this week. And will not appear in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Notre Dame Passing Offense vs. Florida State Passing Defense
Tommy Rees looks to bounce back from a terrible performance against Stanford and improve upon his 19 touchdowns this year. Luckily his main target is one of the best in the country in WR Michael Floyd who finished the season with 95 catches for 1,106 yards and eight touchdowns.
They face a very dangerous Seminole defense that is ranked 4th in scoring defense and the number 6 total defense in the country. In their last five games the Seminoles forced 14 turnovers. The unit unfortunately has not come up big in crucial situations and has given up substantial passing plays to their opponents in fourth quarter situations.
Notre Dame Rushing Offense vs. Florida State Rushing Defense
The Notre Dame rushing attack has suffered two major blows. First its vaunted offensive line has been severely weakened by the season ending loss of starting center Braxston Cave, The Fighting Irish also finds itself without the injured RB Jonas Gray forcing the team to start WR Theo Riddick at the running back position. Gray had scored TDs in nine straight games. This will be an opportunity for the usually reliable Cierre Wod to bounce back from a subpar 41 yard rushing effort against Stanford.
The Seminoles boast a defensive line among the nation’s best and are ranked number two in rushing defense and led by defensive tackles Timmy Jernigan and Everett Dawkins. The group only allows 81.8 rushing yards per game and has only allowed 8 rushing touchdowns all season. The linebacking corps is led by the team’s leading tackler Nigel Bradham.
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