Notre Dame starts their 2021 campaign Sunday night in Tallahassee. It’s been a long off-season of change for the Fighting Irish but the good news is there is just one more day to wait.
Earlier we made our predictions as to what the 2021 season will look like for Notre Dame. Now it’s time for the first game predictions.
Here’s how the Fighting Irish Wire staff sees things going Sunday night between Notre Dame and Florida State:
Photo Courtesy USA TODAY Sports - 2018
I came very close to going against the grain and predicting a Seminoles upset, but could not do so in good conscience knowing the Irish were better at just about everything last year. The tables won’t flip that quickly, especially with Mike Norvell planning to wait literally until the last minute to name a starting quarterback. That said, this won’t be a strong offensive performance for the Irish as I believe it will take Jack Coan a little time to gel with his offense in game action. Therefore, I only can predict that this will be a defensive struggle, and that will be enough for the Irish to win their opener. Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Florida State 20
RB Kyren Williams rushes in the first half vs. Florida State at Notre Dame Stadium. Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics
The season openers are always tricky, especially when breaking in a new quarterback. Luckily, for Notre Dame, Florida State is in the same boat, the Irish actually have a leg up here already naming their starter, Jack Coan. Last year Kyren Williams had his way with the Seminoles and I expect the same Sunday night. The defense shouldn’t skip a beat, Marcus Freeman will have them ready. This contest most likely won’t resemble the outcome from last year, as Mike Norvell has had months to prepare for the Irish. Brian Kelly, on the other hand, will have his squad ready for FSU’s best shot and should come away with a solid road win. Prediction: Notre Dame 31 Florida State 21
Notre Dame opens the season making their first trip to Tallahassee since the 2014 thriller. Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The more I think about this one the more I see a similarity to the opener against Louisville in 2019. It’ll be a packed house on the road to start the year in what should be an electric atmosphere and I have little doubt the hosts will come out with their hair on fire. Just like in that opener two years ago though, talent will win at the end of the day and Notre Dame’s strength on both lines of scrimmage should be apparent. I’m excited to see the reworked offense in action but I’m ecstatic to watch Isaiah Foskey become a nationally household name by night's end. Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Florida State 20