Notre Dame is good. Florida State is not.
Oh, you wanted more analysis. Huh.
So, Notre Dame is one of four remaining undefeated teams in the nation. The Fighting Irish’s 8-0 record includes wins over Michigan (good!), Stanford (much more impressive at the time), Virginia Tech (who, uh, also lost to Old Dominion), and Northwestern (…who might be good?). That’s been enough to slot them in at the No. 3 spot in the latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings.
Florida State, on the other hand, has stumbled out to a 4-5 start in its first season under head coach Willie Taggart. The Seminoles need a 2-1 finish in their final three games, all of which come against programs currently ranked in the top 20 of the AP poll, to become bowl eligible. Since their top win this fall came over Northern Illinois, this seems very unlikely.
The S&P+ ratings dub the Irish as the nation’s No. 6 team. Florida State comes in 75th. The good news is that’s two spots higher than Vanderbilt, who nearly upset Notre Dame on the road way back in September. The bad news is the Seminoles are still probably going to lose by 30.
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
- TV: NBC
- Streaming: NBC Sports, fuboTV
- Odds: Notre Dame is favored by 17.5 points.
One of our goals this year was to defend our home field. This will be our last opportunity to do that. We certainly want to be able to finish that goal off. One of them internally we had was to protect this stadium. Finishing that off against Florida State is certainly very important to us.
Last home game for a number of seniors. That’s obviously important, as well. But I think just playing to that standard that I talked about in terms of that sense of urgency is most important.
Is Ian Book going to do bad things to the Seminoles?
Book has been masterful since taking over as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback, throwing for 260 yards per contest while recording a 15:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in seven games. On Saturday, he’ll face a passing defense that ranks 121st in the nation. There are only 129 teams among the FBS ranks, so…
UPDATE: Book is out due to an injury:
Multiple sources tell The Athletic that quarterback Ian Book will be out Saturday night against Florida State following a rib injury suffered against Northwestern.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 8, 2018
So now the game’s in Brandon Wimbush’s hands. He was the guy who led Notre Dame to a victory over Michigan in Week 1, so it’s not exactly a catastrophic downgrade — but it’s certainly bad news for the Irish.