Champs Sports Bowl 2011, Florida State Vs. Notre Dame: Seminoles, Fighting Irish Respect Tradition

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Florida State Seminoles are getting set to play in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. This will be the first meeting between the teams since Florida State blanked Notre Dame 37-0 back in 2003. The teams this go around are much different than they were back then. In 2011, both teams are trying to get back to the glory years they once knew, but are coming off disappointing seasons. The teams still bolster living room recognition however with their names and history.

"Florida State is one of those teams, when we were growing up, we'd watch them play, so getting matched up against a team like that. ... It'll be fun for us all," safety Harrison Smith said.

The Irish bring an offense led by senior wide receiver Michael Floyd and quarterback Tommy Rees. They'll be trying to put up some points against a talented and athletic Florida State defense. "They have a great defense, and it's going to be very challenging for the offense," Floyd said.

"It's just exciting knowing that you're playing Notre Dame," Florida State linebacker Christian Jones said. "It's a known school, and with all the winning and tradition they have, it's kind of similar to what we have."

The Noles will bring what was supposed to be an explosive offense that's struggled, led by quarterback E.J. Manuel, who's battled some injuries during the season. The Noles did find a gem in freshman running back Devonta Freeman however, who should be a priority for the Irish defense and linebacker Manti Te'o.

For more on Notre Dame, visit Fighting Irish blog One Foot Down. For more on Florida State, visit Seminoles blog Tomahawk Nation.

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