Florida State has one of the best defenses in the country. They are stock full of guys that can just go.
"Lot of athleticism," Irish quarterback Tommy Rees says of FSU's defense. "They're a good team. Really good on defense. They have a lot of good players that they use. They've done a good job all year. Definitely have some athleticism and speed on defense."
Like Notre Dame, the Seminoles had higher hopes than an 8-and-4 season. Thursday is about making sure that this season is not lost--that this season means something special.
"The goal is to win the game," explains Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. To win the game--for your seniors. It's about kids on 'this' team. You have to understand, after this year--this team dies. The life expectancy for a team is one year. That group of guys is never together again."
Irish captain and safety Harrison Smith is among the players who will play his final game on Thursday versus FSU.
"For the guys leaving, to leave on a win--makes your memories that much fonder," Smith explains. "And for the guys that are still here, it will give them more momentum in the off season whether its recruiting or just off season workouts. It's good for everyone involved."
As long as you win.
Notre Dame and Florida State will kickoff at 5:30 on Thursday in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. I'll have reports from Orlando starting Tuesday on NewsCenter 16 at 5.