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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET12:30 AM GMT8:30 AM 北京时间5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST, Nov. 10, 2018
Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana  Attendance: 76,622

No. 3 Notre Dame wary of struggling Florida State

Florida State Seminoles at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  1. Florida State leads the all-time series with Notre Dame, 6-2, and has won each of the last three matchups dating back to 2003. The Fighting Irish have not beaten the Seminoles since October 2002, in the first half of a home-and-home.
  2. The Seminoles fell, 47-28, to North Carolina State on Saturday, managing just 40 rushing yards in the loss after tallying -21 rushing yards the prior week against Clemson. It's the first time the Seminoles have been held under 50 rushing yards in back-to-back games since November 26 and December 29, 2011.
  3. Seminoles wide receiver Tamorrion Terry tallied 142 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, while teammate D.J. Matthews added 133 receiving yards and a touchdown of his own. They're the first duo of Florida State teammates to each record 120+ receiving yards and a touchdown catch in the same game since Peter Warrick (125 yds, TD) and Laveranues Coles (120 yds, TD) on October 31, 1998.
  4. Notre Dame beat Northwestern, 31-21, to improve to 9-0 for the first time since its 2012 BCS title game run. The Irish have gone 3-for-3 on fourth down in each of the last two games, and have converted a fourth down in all nine games this season -- the second-longest active streak in the FBS (Army, 13).
  5. Ian Book threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns against Northwestern, his sixth straight game with multiple touchdown passes. He's the first Notre Dame quarterback to do so in six straight games in a single season since Everett Golson did so in 11 straight in 2014.

It's not always pretty, but No. 3 Notre Dame is hanging on to a perfect season with three games to play.

Another hurdle awaits as the Fighting Irish (9-0) prepare to host Florida State (4-5) on Saturday.

"Now we come home," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters this week. "One of our goals this year was to defend our home field. This will be our last opportunity to do that. We certainly want to be able to finish that goal off. One of them internally we had was to protect this stadium. Finishing that off against Florida State is certainly very important to us.

"(It's the) last home game for a number of seniors. That's obviously important, as well. But I think just playing to that standard that I talked about in terms of that sense of urgency is most important."

It has been a magical season for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are 5-0 at home and 3-0 in true road games thanks to a sturdy defense and a rejuvenated offense under junior quarterback Ian Book.

It appears Notre Dame controls its own destiny for a spot in the College Football Playoffs with what is shaping up as a revolving door behind it at No. 4. Should No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and the Fighting Irish win out, there positions are not likely to change.

Notre Dame is a 17 1/2-point favorite over Florida State, which has lost back-to-back games against ranked foes Clemson and No. 14 North Carolina State. But the Seminoles are desperate because a loss could end their 36-year bowl streak.

This week, Florida State coach Willie Taggart said he turned over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Walt Bell.

"I think that our football team, where we're at right now, we have a fragile football team that's been through a lot over this last two years," Taggart said in comments published by the Tallahassee Democrat. "I think our entire football team needs me in other areas than where I was. ... I'm making sure I'm giving all my time and effort to our entire football team and coaches to make sure that we get everything right."

If history is any indication, this weekend's game could be close regardless of the teams' records. This is the ninth meeting with six of the first eight games having been decided by seven points or fewer.

The most famous showdown took place in 1993 in what was dubbed as "The Game of the Century" because it featured No. 1 Florida State against No. 2 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish held on for a 31-24 win at home.

This contest lacks the same national buzz, but plenty will be tuning in to see if Notre Dame can uphold its perfect season.

Kelly does not want Florida State to be the only team that plays with desperation.

"It seems like when this team is pushed, they really play well," he said. "So it's my job now to get them to play with that sense of urgency for 72 plays, if that's the average number of plays that you play. I think that's what I've learned about this football team, is when they play with a sense of urgency, it's a really, really fine football team."

Book is completing 74.5 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has thrown for at least 264 yards in the six games since taking over the starting job from senior Brandon Wimbush.

Senior wide receiver Miles Boykin is Book's favorite target, recording 32 of his 40 receptions since Book became the starter and totalling 624 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Updated November 7, 2018

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