The game was 10-10 tie at halftime last year, and the Irish came out of the locker room guns a blazing, scoring 24 unanswered points before the Seminoles added 14 garbage points at the end.
What we remember from this game is the Irish lost focus when they had the lead, and never looked to be the same dominant team again.
The letdown in this game was significant because the Irish haven't looked the same since.
The Seminoles were defiant in saying the Irish beat Florida State after the game. They refused to accept that they were beaten by Notre Dame, and many Seminole players said they were not impressed with Notre Dame.
We are certain the Seminoles will want this game badly, and will play that way.
The Seminoles out-gained the Irish 418-301 in total yards, many coming after the game had been decided. The Irish stuffed Heisman hopeful, Greg Jones, all game as Jones ended up with just 34 yards rushing. The Seminoles did their damage through the air, throwing for 325 yards, and it could've been much worse had they not dropped a lot of passes.
The Seminoles (7-1) enter the game ranked 5th in the country. They are averaging 424 yards in total offense and are scoring almost 34 points per game. They average 285 yards through the air and 139 yards on the ground, so they are a pretty balanced offense.
They are coming off a 48-24 victory over Wake Forrest. They haven't played difficult schedule so far with their only loss coming against the only ranked team they've played, Miami (22-14). The Irish will be playing their 7th game against a ranked opponent in eight games.
The Seminoles are led by quarterback Chris Rix. Rix was benched last year in favor of Adrian McPherson after a poor showing in the game last year. Rix finished the game 13-for-32 for 207 yards, and two interceptions. The Seminoles didn't help him much dropping a number of easy passes.
Rix has rebounded since that performance and has the Seminole offense clicking right now. He's currently completing 59 percent of his passes (148-250 for 2,051, 13 TD and 6 INT). Rix makes the offense go, but he can be rattled, as the Irish proved last year.
The Seminole rushing attack is a rush by committee. Greg Jones is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has rushed for 436 yards. Lorenzo Booker is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and has rushed for 163 yards. Leon Washington is the third back rushing for 159 yards and averaging 5.8 yards per carry. They're all very good back and don't be fooled by the numbers.
Craphonso Thorpe is the deep threat in the passing game. He has 35 catches, for 639 yards (18.3 YPC), and seven touchdowns. P.K. Sam in their other receiver with 36 catches, for 505 yards, and 2 touchdowns. The Seminoles have a number of other receivers that have caught some passes.
Their tight ends don't play much of a factor in the offense (11 receptions), their backs do catch some balls, and we do expect them to use their backs in the passing game this week. We expect to see a lot of Lorenzo Booker in this game.
On defense, the Seminoles have 28 sacks for 182 yards. This unit gets after the quarterback. They are allowing 100 yards rushing, and 180 yards passing per game. They are currently ranked 8th in total defense in the country, and 4th in scoring defense, allowing just 12.5 points per game.
They have allowed only four rushing touchdowns and just five passing touchdowns all year. The Seminoles also have nine interceptions on the year.
They have solid punting, averaging 41.5 yards per punt and a shocking 39 net yards in punts. Their kicker is 11-14 on field goals.
After looking at the numbers, we can see why the Seminoles are ranked 5th in the country. It's appears they are solid in all facets of the game. We wonder how the Irish have any chance in this game.
We expect Florida State to try to run the football against the Irish. We also expect to see plenty of Lorenzo Booker. The Irish were able to rattle Rix last year with a solid pass rush. We expect the Seminoles to ease Rix into the game, and to try to test the Irish rush defense early.
We think the Irish will need a complete game, a solid game plan, and a monumental effort to beat Florida State. Are the Irish capable of such a game? We doubt it at this point.