Irish Run Past Seminoles

Notre Dame gifted Florida State ten points in a wild first quarter, then settled down to put away the visitors by 42-26 on Saturday evening. Kyren Williams ran for 185 yards, while Chris Tyree chipped in 103 of the team’s 353 yards on the ground. The Seminoles fought gamely throughout the contest and were not beaten until a Shaun Crawford interception at the goal line midway through the final period.

Williams opened the contest by fumbling on the second play from scrimmage. This resulted in a Kyle Fitzgerald field goal and a 3-0 deficit. The Irish quickly responded as Williams atoned for his mistake with a 64-yard burst to set up a touchdown pass from Ian Book to Michael Mayer.

Williams streaks to the house

Moments later, Williams scored on a 46-yard run and it appeared the Irish were firmly in control. Notre Dame’s defense forced a punt, but it was fumbled by Lawrence Keys and recovered by the Noles. Jordan Travis needed only three plays to bring his team within 14-10, and the tone was set for the night.

Still in the first quarter, Travis came right back on his next possession and hit Tamorrion Terry with a 48-yard strike to climb back on top at 17-14. The hosts knew then that they were in a dogfight, and Book responded by leading a scoring drive capped by a short dash by Williams. The Irish recaptured the lead by 21-17 and did not relinquish it, but the game was still far from over.

Later in the second period, touchdowns by Tyree and Braden Lenzy sandwiched another Fitzgerald field goal to stake Notre Dame to a 35-20 halftime lead.

The second half started in much the same frenetic manner. Both teams scored on their initial possessions after long, impressive marches. Suddenly, however, the defenses gained control. A missed field goal by Jonathan Doerer was the closest either side came to scoring as the battle entered the fourth period.

Time became a factor as Travis tried to rally Florida State for a last ditch run. He ran for 33 yards and hit Terry for 25 more before Crawford picked off an errant throw on a third and goal play from the Irish five yard line. Notre Dame then controlled the ball and the clock until they were stopped at the Seminole two yard line with under two minutes remaining.

Travis played hard to keep his team competitive all evening. He accounted for 300 yards of total offense with 204 through the air and 96 on the ground. Terry had nine catches for 146 yards, but the Irish outgained the Seminoles by 554-405 total yards. Book finished with 201 yards passing on a 16 for 25 night, while Javon McKinley led the Irish receivers with 103 yards.

Let’s review the answers to the pregame questions:

Can key FSU players (Cooper, Jay, Nasirildeen) return from injury and perform well? Jay and Nasirildeen didn’t play, and Cooper was a non-factor as the Irish ran over, around and through the FSU front.

How effectively will the Irish offense execute after so much time off? The running game looked great and Book was efficient. The only negative is the Irish could not muster a score in the final 24 minutes to put the game away.

Will Lenzy and Austin add a new dimension to the passing game? Lenzy was a factor throughout the game, but Coach Brian Kelly kept Austin under wraps except for a token appearance.

Can the multi-talented Travis escape Notre Dame’s pressure and make plays with his arm and legs? Travis flashed his talent and grit with a gutty performance, but it was not quite good enough to win.

Which team will be able to sustain an effective ground game? Notre Dame had three runs over 40 yards and 353 total rushing yards. Travis accounted for most of his team’s yards on the ground, but he didn’t get much help. The Irish averaged 8.4 yards per carry against 3.8 for the Noles.

Will Father Jenkins wear a mask in the press box? He may not take it off again, but the students still may not forgive him.

Had Notre Dame not turned the ball over twice in the first half, the outcome would have been more palatable to the ever-demanding Irish fan base. As it stands, Florida State’s talent, particularly Travis and Terry, gave the hosts quite a few problems.

The Irish will soon face teams such as North Carolina and Clemson, who have their own stable of quality offensive weapons, excellent quarterbacks and more powerful front lines. The defensive coaching staff and players have plenty of work to do if they are to be more successful than they were on this night.

Tell John what you think in the comments below

14 thoughts on “Irish Run Past Seminoles

  1. So annoyed with the terrible sound quality of the NBC broadcast. Can’t hear a word of play by play or color over the crowd or the band playing a Bon Jovi song. Hire a sound engineer. ABC
    , ESPN et al don’t have this problem!

  2. Kevin McCarthy says:

    You got it right FSU, has some individual talent, but not close to being a “good” team. They also played without 2 of their better d players. Know the Irish were rusty from lay-off , but last night’s play = loss against Clemson , NC, Georgia,Alabama,etc.0

  3. 21 days between games with limited practice time and the Irish were ready to play. The Team has a tough schedule ahead and will be tested. Book looked poised and the offensive line was exceptional. Look for Defense to be better next week.

  4. Frustrating game. There was definitely some rust from the long layoff that evidenced itself with two early fumbles that gifted FSU 10 points and saved them from what should have been a blowout Irish victory. There was also some sloppy play during the game like the drive-killing, dropped pass by Williams in the second half. A very-makable missed Irish field goal in the second half was also annoying.

    Not a pretty story on defense. The tackling by the defensive line and linebackers left a lot to be desired throughout the game. There must have been around 10 missed tackles, many of which would have been tackles for losses. The linebackers were invisible for the most part, with the notable exception of JOK, who was awesome as usual. The defensive backs played decently, but also gave up some chunk plays to FSU.

    The story on offense was better. The offensive line was terrific and the running game, led by Williams and Tyree, was excellent as well. One real standout was Javon McKinley, who caught everything thrown his way and dominated the All-American Samuel. I’ve always thought that the Irish have underutilized McKinley, and it’s great to see that changing. Better late than never. Unfortunately, Book was his usual inconsistent self. Made some great throws, but also missed several easy completions, did not identify open receivers at times and missed a wide-open Tremble in the end zone. The game ended on a frustrating note, as a nice ND drive that appeared destined for a touchdown was stopped by a stubborn refusal by Kelly or Rees to throw the ball on the drive, particularly in the red zone where FSU was selling out on the run, which prevented what should have a touchdown and a more satisfying 49-26 final score.

    The bottom line is that ND will need to raise its game considerably over the next few weeks in order to have a chance against Clemson.

  5. This performance was to be expected. Against the top teams, Book has to make the tough throws in tight windows and they will have to throw to set up the run. The next bunch of games will be about establishing a dominant run game and finishing plays on D as we all await the Clemson game. Let’s go Irish !

  6. Don’t understand why there were two commercials promoting Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. I assume with ND’s contract with NBC and the source of the revenue it receives from that arrangement that the school has some say so as to the advertisers. The University should not be a part of an obviously biased political ad during an ND football game.
    Re the game, I believe ND has more talent on both sides of the ball this year than any team I‘ve seen in my almost 60 years following the Irish. However, some bad coaching decisions and inconsistent defensive play will not do well against Clemson. It’s still early and with this crazy season, there’s time and plenty of potential to get them ready for serious competition later.

  7. I was wrong about the Irish covering the spread but they should have! The game was closer than I expected because of sloppy play by the defense (and a few key turnovers). Kelly said the defense was tired from too much practice. Louisville is another Florida State caliber team. ND needs to step it up quickly as better teams loom not too far ahead. This should be a really good team. I will keep my fingers crossed.

  8. Good win by the Irish…..it was great seeing the running game really put it to FSU…..Ian Book had a productive day….the defense will be just fine….lets worry about Louisville for now…..one game at a time…….GO ND BEAT CARDINALS!!!!

  9. Overall ND played well considering they’d been off for three weeks but it was bothersome that Tommy Rees was unable to dial up any scoring series’ the last quarter and a half. The ND running game looked like Stanford’s in their heyday with lineman mauling the defensive front while shifty running backs burst through holes. They gashed FSU most of the night and were able to almost run at will.

    We still need more evidence before we say ND is a playoff contender but things are off to a good start.

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