Google
Home Top 125 Polls Picks/Scores Feature Picks Odds PreGame PostGame Standings Bowls History Teams Links News Forum Season Preview More...

2011-2012
College Football Season
Champs Sports Bowl
Preview


Bowl Index

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
Champs Sports Bowl History
FSU Florida State (8-4)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Notre Dame Notre Dame (8-4)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: Thursday, December 29
Time: 5:30 pm EST
TV: ESPN

Game Preview

Courtesy Champs Sports Bowl and CollegeFootballPoll.com
December 26, 2011

The matchup of traditional powerhouses Notre Dame and Florida State has produced the first sell-out in the history of the Champs Sports Bowl at the 65,438-seat Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando, Florida. Both teams are 8-4 as they prepare to square-off for the first time since 2003.

The only other bowl meeting between these teams took place at the end of the 1995 season with Florida State 31-26 in the Orange Bowl.

The 'Noles are 4-2 in a series that only began in 1981 and has rarely been played. This will be their second all-time meeting in Orlando with Florida State winning a regular season clash 23-16 in 1993.

Florida State is 7-0-1 all-time in Orlando. Notre Dame is 1-1 all-time in Orlando with the lone victory coming in the regular season over Navy 45-14 in 2000.

The last time these teams played each other they traded road victories in a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003 with the Irish winning 34-24 at Tallahassee in 2002 and the Seminoles thumping Notre Dame 37-0 in South Bend the following year.

Florida State is 12-5-2 in bowl games played in the state of Florida, and 2-0-1 in bowl games played in Orlando. The 'Noles are 23-14-2 overall in bowl games as they will appear in their 30th consecutive bowl game.

Notre Dame is 3-5 in bowl games played in the state of Florida, but this is their first postseason trip to Orlando. The Irish are 15-15 overall in bowl games and they will appear in bowl games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2005-2006.

Both schools make their way to Orlando playing strong football throughout the second part of 2011.

FSU has won six of its last seven after starting 2-3. The ‘Noles get it done by way of one of the nation’s stingiest defenses and they are ranked in the NCAA’s Top 25 in nine team categories. Chief among those high marks is the nation’s No. 2 rushing defense which has allowed just 81.8 yards per game, the No. 6 total defense that has allowed 274.6 yards per game, and the No. 4 scoring defense that has surrendered only 15.2 points per game.

After starting the season a disappointing 0-2, Notre Dame has bounced back and lost only two games the rest of the way, falling only to Stanford (No. 5 CCR Top 120, No. 4 BCS) and USC (No. 12 CCR Top 120, ineligible BCS).

The Irish offensive line ranks 19th nationally in sacks allowed, an attribute that should help against an FSU defense that ranks in the Top 10 in sacks and tackles for loss.

Another weapon that may help the Irish is one of the nation’s top receiving threats in Michael Floyd. The 6-3 senior ranks ninth nationally in receptions with 7.9 per game and averages 92.2 yards per game.

The game, which is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. EST kickoff, will be televised nationally by ESPN.

The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com project FSU to win by 3.04 points to chalk up another win over the Irish.