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Notre Dame versus Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl

Dec 4, 2011, 9:07 PM EDT

Jonas Gray Michael Floyd

A year after renewing a storied rivalry against Miami in the Sun Bowl, the Irish have another date with a vaunted opponent of yesteryear. Thanks to Clemson’s victory in the ACC Championship last night, Notre Dame will take on Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl, giving December 29th one of the most high-profile match-ups of the bowl season.

Of course, there’s a little luster lost when the Irish take on a blue-chip football program a few days before New Years Day, and if the Irish’s four losses were considered a disappointment, the fact that the Seminoles are sitting at 8-4 as well is a huge letdown for a team that ranked among the nation’s best in the preseason.

We’ll have more from Brian Kelly later tonight, but the main headline coming from BK is that Tommy Rees will start against the Seminoles but Andrew Hendrix will play. Whoever is playing against FSU will battle one of the country’s strongest defenses. The Seminoles give up only 15.2 points a game, 4th best in the country, and sport a top ten ranking in rush defense and total defense as well.

The Irish have 25 days before they do battle in Orlando, giving Notre Dame a chance to develop some of their youth before one last chance to win a football game against a blue-chip opponent.



  1. papadec - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    nudeman – let it go already – you have beaten that Rees horse, and this website, into glue. We understand you don’t like Rees and/or his performance. I agree with most of what you have to say, in your posts. BUT, your animosity toward Rees makes less sense than Kelly’s QB decisions.

  2. fitz79 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I must admit, I defended Rees for most of the season when a lot of people were calling for his head, but after what I witnessed at Stanford I’m pretty surprised to see him named the starter after how terrific Hendrix played. Makes me wonder what is it about Hendrix that makes Kelly so reluctant to start him or give him a full chance? If Florida State’s defense is even better than Stanford or USC’s than I think Hendrix’s pocket mobility is probably the only shot we’ll have to win this one. I don’t want to insult Rees here. He’s done a lot for us over the course of the season, a lot good, some bad. I feel fine with him being there as a 2nd option if Hendrix doesn’t perform or gets hurt but I’m ready to see Hendrix get a real crack at running the show. At least Kelly has stated that he’ll play both and Hendrix will get a chance too. I suppose he feels Hendrix isn’t ready to make his first start here in a bowl game at the end of the season and he’ll have to earn it in camp. For the sake of our team, I sure hope he’s right!

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