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Champs Sports Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Florida State

12/29/11

It's year two of the Brian Kelly experiment and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 8-4. Not quite what everyone was expecting, but hey, let the guy get his own kids in there and then we will see how he does. The Irish will take on another powerhouse program in the form of 8-4 Florida State, a team that was ranked in the top 5 for the preseason. This is the Champ Sports Bowl and it’s going to be intense. Betonline has Florida State favored by 3 with a total of 47.

Notre Dame has a shaky QB situation, but will go with regular starter Tommy Rees. This is in spite of the fact that he played a poor game last out against Stanford. Coach Kelly cited his chemistry with the offensive line and top receiver Michael Floyd as the deciding factor. Floyd set a Notre Dame record for catches this year at 95. That goes along with 1,106 yards and 8 TDs.

Florida State has won 6 of their last 7 games, but of those wins only one of them came against a team that had a winning record. Their offense is led by junior QB EJ Manuel. He’s got good pocket presence, but hasn’t developed into the player that some thought he could be.

The Seminoles boast one of the nation’s top defenses. They allow only 15.2 PPG and it’s been nearly impossible to run the ball against them. FSU foes are averaging a mere 2.3 YPC this year.

Notre Dame’s defense, while not as heralded, is nothing to sneeze at. They are full of top athletes and it’s very hard to pass against these guys.

The FSU defense held Oklahoma to 23 points and shut down most teams they played this year. We have no explanation for the back to back 35-30 losses to Clemson and Wake Forest. The last half of their season, they really didn't face a team with much offensive firepower. For Notre Dame, games against USC, Stanford and Michigan showed their vulnerability on the defensive side of things, but FSU doesn't pose the same threat as those teams offensively. ND held everyone else in check.

The last 5 games for Florida State all went under the total and all of them also would have gone under the total posted in this game, 47, while 4 of the last 6 Notre Dame games were unders. We lean towards Florida State in this game based on their defense and the intangibles such as more consistent play at QB and turnovers, which have plagued ND all year. But the total may be the way to go in this one for us. Under 47

 

 

 

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