This is what college football is all about and what we have been waiting on for the past 7 months. It’s primetime under the lights and the whole country will be watching the Noles and the Irish battle it out.
Your Tomahawk Nation staff, after studying film and reviewing positional matchups, are ready to make their predictions on what they expect to happen Sunday night.
Here are the staff’s predictions for your amusement.
- TimScribble: A new year, a new start, another chance for FSU to punch me in the stomach and steal my lunch money. I really just want FSU to look competent in this game. No blowouts. No constant 3rd down conversions allowed. No multiple false starts. Let’s do this FSU, let’s lose this by less than 3 touchdowns!
Notre Dame 35, FSU 20
- Tommy: With Notre Dame breaking in a not-so-new quarterback into their system, I would imagine they will rely heavily on the run game until the line starts wearing down. Short and intermediate throws will probably be the death of FSU beyond that. But, you cant sell a packed house at the Doak and a season devoted to the late coach Bowden short either. The Noles should score fast and early to run up the scoreboard and hope that the run game doesn't eat them alive by the middle of the third quarter. Maybe some fourth-quarter magic will happen and they pull off the upset.
Notre Dame 31, Florida State 24
- NoleThruandThru: I can’t wait to see Doak rocking under the lights again! This will be an emotional night celebrating Bobby Bowden’s legacy, and my hope is that the Seminoles use that extra motivation to their advantage and we don’t see it manifest in penalties and mental lapses. I’m looking for demonstrated improvement from last season and I think we’ll see it, but it won’t be enough to topple the Irish. The Notre Dame tight ends will feast against FSU linebackers in coverage, giving Jack Coan a much-needed safety blanket throughout the evening. While FSU will start the year 0-1 yet again, the atmosphere and improvement will still help them with the Tribe ‘22 recruiting class.
Notre Dame 34, FSU 23
- Jon Marchant: The atmosphere is going to be electric. This team is going to be better, but how much? Norvell called them an emotional team. I’m expecting a roller coaster. I think this team has the starting talent of a 7 or 8 win team, but I worry about the depth. Notre Dame lost a ton, but their program is much more mature. I really don’t know what to expect for this game but I’m hoping the ’Noles keep it to a one-score game going into the fourth quarter. My heart tells me they could find a way to get it done. But in the end my brain tells me Notre Dame wins by 10.
Notre Dame 34, FSU 24
- Brian Pellerin: First season on the FSU beat for me starting off with a bang, Doak at night against a top-10 team in primetime will be fun way to get the 2021 season rolling. I’ve said it plenty of times throughout the offseason and during my full college football Week 1 betting picks article — shameless plug, Mike Norvell is a good coach. He’s got the program moving in the right direction and this team has the front-line talent to compete. My concern comes in depth over the course of a full season. Hopefully, that doesn’t come into play much during an opener so I’m taking FSU to cover, but I can’t see a victory in the cards.
Notre Dame 33, Florida State 27
- LastNoleOfKrypton: Hope is in the air as the start of another Seminole season has arrived. The homer in me wants to pick FSU but I’m going to go with Notre Dame for two reasons. First: this team is still pretty young and Mike hasn’t completely flipped the roster yet. Second: Notre Dame’s running game might be the best running game FSU sees all year and until proven otherwise FSU’s linebackers are un-good. Notre Dame also has maybe the best TE in the country. I expect FSU to move the ball consistently against a ND defense replacing a lot of talent but ultimately FSU comes up short in the redzone kicking too many field goals.
Notre Dame 28 FSU 23
- CoachAB: My friends above have captured a lot of the themes of this game and if you listened to the most recent Triple Option episode (of course you have!) then you have a general idea of the issues I think face FSU Sunday night. The Irish have too many mismatches in their favor for FSU to overcome. A close game into the fourth stretches out.
Notre Dame 38, FSU 27
- FrankDNole: This is going to be fun. It will be a close game until the Noles take control midway through the 4th quarter.
The Doak will be rocking and rolling, and the Noles will show a national TV audience that FSU should be ranked in the top 25 with this upset victory.
Florida State 34 - The Notre Dames 27
- Perry Kostidakis: There’s always that sneaking feeling that stirs up when staring down a potential upset — the what if’s, the maybes, the possibilities. You, if you felt so inclined, could make the argument that this year’s FSU team can’t be projected off much, if at all, of the 2020 campaign, given the roster turnover and completely different approach to the preseason. You could also, rightly, point out that FSU has had three straight losing seasons and that ships don’t correct course that quickly without taking on some water.
Notre Dame struggles in season openers on occasion, but this isn’t opening with Duke and sleepwalking through it — this is a prime time game with name recognition that the Irish should have no problem getting up and motivated for. If they’re firing on all cylinders, it could be a long night for the Seminoles. Look for a offensive game plan focused on deep shots and gadget plays, a defensive one set on selling out to stop the run and a crowd that will be rambunctious enough to influence the atmosphere of the night.
Notre Dame 36, FSU 33