For the Seminoles, the stakes are clear. A win means upsetting a top-five team, on the road, in sub-freezing temperatures. A loss means a 4-6 record and no more wiggle room when it comes to extending the nation’s longest bowl streak. Here we go.
Juan Montalvo III, noted author of several novels:
I just want to be the first to say this: Rudy. I don’t need much more context. The spirit of Samwise Gamgee appears to be carrying the 11 man units of Frodo to the promised land of Mordor.
But what may pass when the units arrive? Florida State will arrive, but with little fanfare. Much like Samwise, Frodo and erstwhile interlocutor Gollum.
This story does not end with purple faced Brian Kelley taking one ring at the end. It does not begin with a happy band of hobbits, except for the 5 that occupy the oft interloping Florida State offensive line.
The story ends in the middle. The middle of the field, where FSU’s offensive line, safeties and linebackers ostensibly reside. And where Rudy will open up the most space and intercept FSU upset dreams.
Notre Dame 34, FSU 13
Notre Dame is having an impressive year in 2018, in the same way that The Undertaker did in 1998. ’Taker was running roughshod over the entire World Wrestling Federation, and his next scheduled victim was to be Mick Foley at the King of the Ring. However, it wasn’t going to be just an ordinary match, it was going to be HELL IN A CELL!
The Hell in a Cell was an infernal contraption, specifically designed for The Undertaker and his blend of freakish athleticism and destructive offense. It was one of the sport’s greatest athletes on his home turf. The odds did not look great for Foley, in the same way that they don’t look that great for Florida State this weekend.
But, 20 years later, can Willie Taggart and the ’Noles take a lesson from Foley? Did Mick use the hostile environment and outstanding opponent as motivating fuel to orchestrate an upset for the ages?
Let’s take a look at the tape.
Notre Dame Fighting Zombie Wrestlers 34, FSU Guys Getting Thrown Through Tables 17
Are they really going to start Francois again? sigh Here we go again. FSU’s offensive line gets destroyed early and often. Notre Dame can name their score. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Notre Dame 35, FSU 10
With a forecast of snow and FSU wearing all-white uniforms, the game should be pleasing to look at. But the experience will be something else altogether. FSU’s poor offensive line will be overmatched more than normal against Notre Dame’s talented front. Quarterback Deondre Francois is likely to start again, so there’s that. The defense has also taken a pounding in recent weeks.
Notre Dame 48 - 10 FSU
Remember how the last two games went? Yeah, this is gonna be kinda like that, even with Ian Book on the sidelines.
Notre Dame 34, FSU 14
Ian Book is out for Notre Dame but I don’t think it matters because I don’t think FSU will move the ball against ND. Hopefully the defense will show a little bit better than last week but I could see them not showing up, especially since it’s going to be below freezing and what weirdo wants to go outside in that?
Notre Dame 35, FSU 10
It’s games like this that I truly appreciate living in Florida. It gets below 75 here and my skin cracks. If I have to wear long pants on Saturdays, I’m annoyed. I own two sweaters and they’ve each been worn fewer than three times. So yeah, the ’Noles are going to get crushed on Saturday night by Notre Dame. But at least I don’t live in Indiana. It’s an undesirable place with a harsh climate. Therefore, it is a perfect place to leave Francois and Noonie at the team hotel prior to the flight back home.
Notre Dame 38, FSU 13
As noted snow expert Michael Irvin so eloquently put it:
MAN WHEN WE PLAYED IN THAT COLD WEATHER WE WAS COLD.— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) January 5, 2014
Indeed, Michael. The ’Noles will be colder than their 127th ranked run game. Ian Book being out does make this a more favorable matchup for FSU, but I won’t let it get my hopes up. Not this time. The score may be closer than it would have been with Book under center, but the outcome remains the same.
Notre Dame 30, FSU 21
I have not posted my predictions for the past few weeks along with my fellow staffers because I will never predict my ’Noles will lose, and I felt their chances of winning those games were not good.
This game is different because this will be the first game in a long time where all 3 of FSU’s football units will run on all cylinders. How do I know this? I’ve heard things.
Although DF12 will start, I would not be surprised if he is on a short leash and there is a good possibility we will see JB1 if Francois is not moving the offense down the field and scoring points more often than not.
I’ve also learned that the team equipment managers will be placing several hot packs in the turnover backpack, which will have the defensive players fighting for turnovers and playing their best game of the season so that they get to wear the warm backpack on prime time TV.
FSU holds off a Notre Dame team fighting to remain in the playoff picture during the fourth quarter for the win, which will leave Brian Kelly’s face looking even more beet red than normal.
FSU 31 - Domers 27
Winter is coming. That’s all I know about Game of Thrones, and I’m not really sure what it means, but it doesn’t sound good, nor does the forecast for FSU heading into this one. And I’m not even talking about the weather.
The Seminoles are riddled with holes, while the Irish are a well-rounded squad. Florida State will come out high and play to the primetime stage, but that can only last for so long. Notre Dame has a lot on the line here, like the chance to get boat-raced by either Alabama or Clemson in the College Football Playoff. ND keeps its postseason blowout hopes alive, while FSU’s margin of error for making a bowl is reduced to zero.
Florida State 17, Notre Dame 33
Be sure to check out the Nolecast for predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith.