NCAA Football on NBC Odds: Florida St. Seminoles at (3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Big South Tournament
Florida State at Notre Dame

Time: 6:30 PM CT
Spread: ND -17
Total: 51

Odds c/o Bovada

The No. 3 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still undefeated at 9-0. This week it hosts the struggling Florida State Seminoles as heavy 17-point favorites. The game will air at 6:30 PM (CST) on NBC, and it has an over/under set at 51 points according to college football oddsmakers at Bovada.

ND

Notre Dame has been dominant, in knocking off all nine of its opponents, including the likes of Michigan, Stanford and Virginia Tech. Ordinarily, the Seminoles would represent another ranked opponent, but not this season, a down year for the illustrious program. Notre Dame’s defense may have its way with Florida State. The Fighting Irish are allowing just 19.3 points per game, ranking No. 19 in the nation, while its offense puts up 33.7 points per contest, tied for No. 33 in the country. The Fighting Irish have a very balanced attack, ranking No. 34 in pass offense and No. 54 in rush offense. Combining the two, the Irish average 449.1 yards per game and absolutely devastate defenses.

Ian Book has thrown for 1,824 yards with an outstanding 74.5 percent completion ratio. He replaced Brandon Wimbrook after early- season struggles, and he has been world’s better. His 8.94 yards-per-attempt are great, along with his 15 TD passes to just four interceptions. Wimbrook had a 1:4 TD/INT ratio and clearly was not the answer. Book has been sensational.

Book can rush the ball, too, with his 65 attempts having accumulated 218 yards and four TDs. Dexter Williams is the lead rusher with 568 yards on 93 attempts and eight TDs, including a 97-yard TD rush. Tony Jones Jr and Jafar Armstrong are both over 300 yards on the season with another nine TDs between them. The Fighting Irish average 4.2 yards-per-rush attempt, but its top three rushers are all good for 4.8 or more.

Book’s top passing target has been Miles Boykin. Boykin has 624 yards on 40 catches and a team-high seven receiving TDs. Chase Claypool has caught 36 passes for 448 yards and three TDs, and the Irish have five more receivers with 100 yards or more on the season. The team has 16 receiving TDs to its 22 rushing TDs, illustrating the great balance of this offense.

Book is capable of getting it in the end zone using his backfield and receivers, and to boot, the Irish have a great kicker in Justin Yoon. Yoon is 31 of 31 on PATs and 10 of 14 on field goals, with three of his four misses coming from 40-plus yards.

FLA ST

Florida State, as stated, is in a down year. The Seminoles are just 4-5 and in sixth place in the ACC, a conference it is accustomed to winning. It has dropped its past two to Clemson and NC State, and it has lost 3 of its past four with the lone victory coming against Wake Forest.

The Seminoles defense has been tragically poor, allowing 30.4 points per game and ranking No. 85 in the nation. And its offense, usually stellar, has been slow and disastrous. The Seminoles average just 23.8 points per game and rank outside the top-100 FBS programs. The pass offense has been good, but with just 76.9 rushing yards per game, Florida State is easy to predict–and easy to stop.

Cam Akers has rushed for 496 yards, but he averages just 4.1 yards-per-attempt and has only three rushing TDS. Quarterback Deondre Francois has thrown for over 2,000 yards, but he has seven interceptions and is averaging just 7.26 yards-per-attempt. Francois has been a disaster when he rushes too, with -41 yards on the season on 55 attempts, but he still has scored a pair of touchdowns. Florida State will likely look to replace him with a top recruit because he clearly is not the answer for this program.

It might be a rough assessment considering how little help he has had from the backfield, but the 13:7 TD/INT ratio is not good, and Florida State cannot win games with that, never mind the fact that its defense is one of the worst in the ACC.

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