PRESSURE THE QUARTERBACK
Dominating the pre-game talk has been the youth Florida State will feature along its offensive line. The Irish must take advantage of this and place pressure on the quarterback to keep E.J. Manuel off rhythm and out of sync with his playmakers downfield.
RUN THE FOOTBALL
It does not matter how the Irish scheme to run the football against FSU on Thursday, they just have to be able to get some production from the running game to keep the Seminoles honest. Regardless if its Andrew Hendrix at the quarterback position or Cierre Wood or Theo Riddick out of the backfield, the Irish must get enough production to keep the 'Noles defense from teeing off with their pass rush.
MAKE A BIG PLAY ON SPECIAL TEAMS
A big play on special teams would give the Irish a boost and George Atkinson III has already provided his team with points in the return game. A blocked punt or another big play by Atkinson is a must. Also important will be the ability to keep FSU's tremendous specialty units from making a big play.
REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PENALTIES
The Irish ended the season with 70 penalties for 729 yards (60.8 avg per game). While Irish opponents have committed more penalties (91 for 768 yards) the Irish also seem to draw the yellow flag when it hurts most.
HOLD ONTO THE FOOTBALL
The Irish must hold onto the football and not make costly mistakes that have haunted them throughout the season.
CLEAN CENTER TO QUARTERBACK EXCHANGES
It seems simple, but center Mike Golic Jr. and quarterback Tommy Rees must stay connected throughout the entire game and eliminate any poor snaps, shotgun or otherwise, during the game.