Check out our betting preview and prediction for the NCAAF match between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Florida State Seminoles Betting Preview
These two programs have trended in opposite directions since making college football title games in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014.
Brian Kelly remains the head coach of the Irish and has led his team to two College Football Playoff appearances in the last three seasons. Jimbo Fisher made the CFP in the first year of the bracket, but he’s in College Station now, and the Seminoles are on their second head coach since Fisher’s departure.
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish Team Preview
The Irish played 2020 as part of the ACC, their only season as a part of a conference in 115 years of playing football. Notre Dame lost their rematch with Clemson in the conference championship game, but their win over the Tigers earlier in the season gave the Irish the merit to earn a spot in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Brian Kelly and company, they drew Alabama on their warpath to an undefeated season.
Offensively the Irish bring in Wisconsin transfer quarterback Jack Coan to replace Ian Book. Book provided stability and leadership for the team as a three-year starter and fifth-year senior playing as the team’s signal-caller. The offensive line will also be a work in progress as three of the team’s starters from last season were all drafted by NFL teams in this year’s draft. On the defensive side, hybrid linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has moved on to play on Sundays as well.
Despite the losses, the Irish still enter the season ranked in the preseason AP top 10. Coan will be joined in the backfield by returning, running back Kyren Williams. Williams projects as one of the top running backs in all of the college football after having a breakout sophomore season in 2020. On the defensive side of the ball, safety Kyle Hamilton provides a big-time playmaker on the back end. The rangy ball-hawk projects as one of the top defensive players in the upcoming draft and should provide some much-needed experience for Notre Dame.
Florida State Seminoles Team Preview
Jimbo Fisher left the Seminoles in 2017, and Florida State hasn’t had a winning season since. Willie Taggart came to Tallahassee for a season and a half before being asked to leave town in favor of current head coach Mike Norvell. Norvell, like many first-year coaches in 2020, found struggles gaining traction with no offseason and a season rife with challenges related to COVID-19.
The Seminoles haven’t returned to the high level of recruiting that Jimbo Fisher was able to sustain during his tenure, but the 2020 season leaves some holes throughout the depth chart. Offensively the Seminoles didn’t lose much, but the team finished in the bottom third nationally in scoring offense. On the defensive side, the front seven looks to be completely turned over, and the loss of cornerback Asante Samuel Jr will be a big one.
If there’s hope for the Seminoles this year, it may be at the quarterback position. Early depth charts have shown that Norvell still has yet to decide between Jordan Travis and UCF transfer Mackenzie Milton, but both should provide playmaking that FSU has been missing in the past 4-5 years.
BetOnline, BetUS, and Bovada all have the Irish as a touchdown favorite on the road over the Seminoles. They all have the total points betting line set at over/under 55 points, which should lean in favor of the under.
The Irish will likely look to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage, and the Seminoles haven’t shown an ability to be a major threat offensively in recent history.
Reports out of South Bend say that Coan has plenty of talent and is on a mission for redemption after losing his job at Wisconsin. The Irish should win comfortably.
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