This Champs Sports Bowl has several matchups that we should be looking forward to. However, it may come down to a few individual performances.
Florida State has struggled offensively at running the ball, though luckily, they have a slew of receivers that can stretch the field.
If there is any consistency in the run game, then the defense and special teams can take over from there.
Still, there are five players that must be on their so called “A games” if Florida State expects to come out victorious.
Why not just throw in two legit special team players? Both deserved to make the AP All-American Team, but they can become huge difference makers against Notre Dame. Powell leads the country in yards per punt (47), and he can pin it deep inside the opponent's territory.
Hopkins is eighth in the nation with 1.67 field goals per game and is 20 out of 25 for the season. Not only are his gold kicks great to watch in HD, but so is his ability to boom it with ease from 50 yards out. If Hopkins can kick the pigskin like an All-American, FSU will be looking good in Orlando.
Tyler Eiffert is an All-American tight end, and Bradham will likely be matched up against him. Joyner could get his fair share of looks at safety, as a few other linebackers could, but Bradham has the size, speed and wood-laying ability to hang with one of the best in the country.
Notre Dame's duo of runner (Cierre Wood and Theo Reddick) will be tough to stop, but Bradham is relentless when chasing down backs.
Playing behind a top-five defensive line in the country is always helpful, and Bradham’s play could be the difference between winning and losing.
Manuel has been the only consistent runner outside of sensational freshman Devonta Freeman. Already reaching paydirt eight times before the bowl game is impressive since Freeman took over after Chris Thompson was lost for the year against Wake Forest.
Freeman is explosive and is electric when cutting up the field. If the Seminoles can get a productive game from Freeman, then Manuel will not have to shoulder the load.
Manuel is the main man offensively for the Noles, and they will be relying on his decision making, as well as his ability to escape from pressure.
His scrambling ability could give the Irish some issues, and the hope is that he can breakdown a fast defense that does not give up a ton of yards.
If EJ can avoid a nightmare of a game, FSU should stay in it for four quarters.
After slowing down Alshon Jeffery in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and going off in the return game, Reid better be ready for the Irish.
Michael Floyd is a top-five receiver in the country, and we should see the dazzling junior (Mr. Reid) matched up against the future NFL starter.
Very often, Greg Reid can try to do too much as a corner or returner, but the kid is a flat-out superstar. He shines when it matters most, and the saying goes, “As Reid goes, often does the Noles.”
“G5” can be a game-changer in terms of the field position, but more importantly, he can light a fire for this squad and is my top player to watch in the Champs Sports Bowl.