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Florida State (4-5) at No. 3 Notre Dame (9-0, No. 3 CFP), 7:30 p.m. EST

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - AROUND THE NATION -

TV: NBC Line: Notre Dame by 16½. Se­ries record: Florida State leads se­ries, 6-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Notre Dame’s na­tional cham­pi­onship play­off as­pi­ra­tions will be de­cided dur­ing this three-week stretch start­ing with the Semi­noles, who are strug­gling in coach Willie Tag­gart’s first year in Tal­la­has­see.

KEY MATCHUP Re­con­structed Ir­ish of­fen­sive line an­chored by grad cen­ter Sam

Mus tiphervs.Semin oles de­fense led by ju­nior end Brian Burns: Though av­er­ag­ing 181 yards rush­ing per g ame,theIr­ishh ave been in­con­sis­tent of late on the ground. They had 80 yards against Pitts­burgh, a sea­son-high 254 against Navy and then 121 against North­west­ern.

PLAY­ERS TO WATCH Florida State: QBs Deon­dre

Fran­cois and James Black­man. Fran­cois has com­pleted nearly 61 per­cent of his passes for 2,039 yards and 13 TDs but sat out last week’s 47-28 loss at N.C. State with an in­jury. Black­man threw for 421 yards and four TDs in his place. Notre Dame: QB Bran­don Wim­bush. The Ir­ish have to go back to their pre­vi­ous start­ing quar­ter­back with Ian Book nurs­ing an in­jury.

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