Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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42 PRESEASON 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TODD D. BURLAGE FLORIDA STATE RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE One of the first orders of business for Mike Norvell when he took over as the head coach at FSU before last season was to improve his offensive line play and the running game. And after finishing his rookie year only 3-6 — the Seminoles were rav- aged by COVID-19 outbreaks last season and had three games canceled — plenty of work remains but the running game showed signs of life in 2020. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis (559 yards, seven touchdowns) and redshirt sopho- more running back Jashaun Corbin (401 yards, five touchdowns) — both of whom return this season — paced a group of four FSU rushers who each gained 350 yards or more. Perhaps more impressive, each of those four averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry. Even during a losing season, Flor- ida State still averaged 199.9 rushing yards, which ranked 31st nationally and was a 60.0-yards-per-game im- provement from 2019, when it man- aged only 140.7 yards and ranked 93rd in the country. Corbin should get most of the car- ries at running back again this sea- son, but also expect Lawrance Toafili to provide an explosive backup op- tion. As a true freshman last season, Toafili tallied 356 rushing yards, scored two touchdowns and aver- aged 9.6 yards per carry. During a 42-26 Irish win over the Seminoles last season, the Notre Dame defense held FSU to 153 rush- ing yards, 46 yards below its season average. The Irish allowed only 113.0 rush- ing yards per game last season, which ranked 16th in the nation. Advantage: Notre Dame FLORIDA STATE PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE With only 196.8 passing yards per game (98th nationally), FSU actually tallied more yards per game on the ground than it did through the air. Redshirt sophomore running back Jashaun Corbin was one of four FSU rushers who gained at least 350 yards on the ground and 5.0 yards per carry last year. PHOTO COURTESY FLORIDA STATE ATHLETICS GAME PREVIEW: FLORIDA STATE On PaPer

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