ORLANDO - Regardless of how this game plays out on Thursday, one thing cannot be denied: The Notre Dame players and coaches alike have had a fantastic time down here.
And on the eve of the bowl game, Irish coach Brian Kelly was quick to reiterate, for bowl season there is no place like here in Orlando.
Florida State limps into the bowl game with several injuries up front, which will force them to start four freshman offensive linemen. Something Notre Dame hopes to take advantage of.
"Florida State has had to overcome a lot of injuries on the offensive line," Kelly said. "And I think we all know that lacking continuity on the offensive line is probably the one way to stall your offense."
Brian Kelly reiterated the plan of playing two quarterbacks with two very different skill sets. Something the Seminoles are prepared for.
"We always go 'good on good' every day," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "And we use the quarterback run system, we run options, all that stuff, so them going against (FSU QB) E.J. (Manuel) every day, they're having to deal with that quarterback run-read, a guy who can throw it and run. So it does help our defense as far as preparation, having to guard a guy in practice who's very athletic."
"Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix will both play," Kelly reiterated. "They'll both have an opportunity to have meaningful impact in the game, which should serve both of them well moving into next year."
In a rollercoaster career featuring more twists and turns than an Orlando rollercoaster, Michael Floyd's time at Notre Dame will come full circle when the Irish meet Florida State. Originally stripped of his captaincy back in the spring, Kelly announced Wednesday that Floyd will be a gameday captain in his final game at Notre Dame.