October 10, 2020 | 3:31pm
In 1993, this game was deemed “The Game of the Century” as No. 2 Notre Dame beat No. 1 Florida State, 31-24. On Saturday, the Fighting Irish enter the game ranked fifth in the country, but haven’t played since Sept. 19 due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Seminoles, on the other hand, are 1-2 with their lone win coming against FCS foe Jacksonville State last week. Florida State will be starting its third quarterback of the season. Jordan Travis played well against Jacksonville State — throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 48 yards and another score — and he seems to be an upgrade over James Blackman and Tate Rodemaker. But how much did we really learn from a game against an FCS foe?
Notre Dame coordinator Clark Lea is one of the top defensive minds in college football, and with the Irish’s depth on the defensive line and at linebacker, I expect the Irish to get after Travis.
Does that mean I’m laying the 21 points with Notre Dame? Not exactly. The Irish offense looked quite sluggish against Duke in a 27-13 season-opening win, and Notre Dame’s wide receivers have struggled to create separation. Kevin Austin, the Irish’s most talented receiver, returns from a fractured foot, but head coach Brian Kelly said Austin will play 15-20 plays on Saturday.
With one of the top offensive lines in the country and the team coming off a long layoff, I expect the Irish to rely on the running attack and quick passing game and look to get out of Saturday evening as cleanly as possible.
The play: Florida State-Notre Dame, Under 53.5.