FINAL: Seminoles 26 - Notre Dame 42
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WCTV) - Fresh off their first victory of the season, albeit against an FCS opponent, Florida State is looking to get back to .500 on the 2020 campaign as they head to South Bend, Indiana to take on the #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
As the Seminoles are getting their second win to the season, the Irish are getting essentially a second start to their campaign, having not taken the field since September 19 due to COVID-19 amongst the team.
FSU will see its third starting quarterback in as many weeks tonight, as Jordan Travis comes into Saturday’s affair as QB1 for Mike Norvell, after posting a solid performance in relief of Tate Rodemaker against Jacksonville State, completing 12 of 17 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown through the air to go along with 11 rushes for 48 yards.
The Noles rushing game as a whole also came alive last week, as FSU rushed for more yards against JSU (263) than they had in their first two games combined (260).
While having not played for nearly a month, the Irish have continued to rise in the AP Top 25 rankings; in their Sept. 19 win against USF, ND was ranked #7 and have moved up two spots since.
Senior Irish quarterback Ian Book is battle-tested and could be yet another thorn in the side of a Seminole defense who has struggled to stop opposing quarterbacks so far this year.
It’s another late game for the Noles, who are in primetime for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on NBC. A Notre Dame win would give the Irish back-to-back wins over Seminoles for the first time in the series' history. An FSU win, and they will have won four of the last five meetings.
Below will be a running log of the game, as in years past: We’ll have score updates, analysis, stray observations and thoughts. It will be fun. For up-to-the-minute updates and analysis, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
FINAL: NOTRE DAME 42 - FLORIDA STATE 26
And that’s that. Florida State played well, all things considered. But, FSU falls to 1-3 and 0-3 against FBS/ACC competition.
The refrain across social media is “there’s something building here,” and I agree - a couple of bounces here and there, and this is a one-score game. The defense, though, needs a direction. For the first time this season, the offense has some hope, but something has to turn the tide for the defense
Anyway, thanks for following along tonight. Will Desautelle has your recap right here. We’ll be back at it again next week for a 7 p.m. kick from Doak against North Carolina.
4th Quarter, 1:52: 42-26, Notre Dame
Notre Dame just held the ball for 6:29, went 75 yards on 12 plays...and didn’t score. Huge credit to the FSU defense who didn’t break, and credit to Mike Norvell for mentally staying in the game, calling all three time outs to ensure his team was engaged.
It’s highly unlikely, but FSU has two minutes to tie this game with two touchdowns and two two-point conversions.
4th Quarter, 8:21: 42-26, Notre Dame
We have our first FSU turnover of the day, as Jordan Travis is picked off at the goal line, trying to target Terry, by Shaun Crawford to end what was a promising drive by the garnet and gold.
The drive saw two converted fourth downs and Travis went 3-for-5 for 38 yards through the air and 29 rushing yards, including a 33-yard rush to open the drive. Maybe the best sustained drive the Noles have put together tonight, definitely the best Travis has looked in managing the offense tonight, the interception aside.
END OF THE THIRD QUARTER: NOTRE DAME 42 - FLORIDA STATE 26
Not a whole lot to say about this one, to be honest: The Noles appear to be running out of steam and ND is continuing to trudge along, but are slowing the pace down a bit.
3rd Quarter, 3:31: 42-26, Notre Dame
For the first time in five drives, the Irish will not come away with any points, after a 45-yard field goal attempt was missed.
The Irish did go 30 yards on nine plays in 3:19 - they’re not quite in clock-kill mode yet, but they’re certainly in no rush to move the ball; that 3:19 time of possession on the drive was the second-longest drive tonight for the Irish (behind the 3:39 of the previous scoring drive).
3rd Quarter, 8:40: 42-26, Notre Dame
Tit for tat we go, as the Irish answer the Noles' half-opening touchdown with one of their own, this one an Ian Book rushing score to cap an eight-play, 73-yard drive.
A couple of modest Kyren Williams rushes sets up a Book to McKinley completion for 38 yards, beating an FSU blitz, to set the Irish up inside FSU’s 25.
As well as the ND rushing game has done (five rushers have combined for 255 yards), Book is on the doorstep of 200 passing yards - currently sitting at 187 - to accompany two touchdowns in just 19 attempts (14 completions).
3rd Quarter, 12:25: 35-26, Notre Dame
Quick strike after quick strike in this game, this time from the Seminoles, who go 75 yards in seven plays and in 2:35 of game time to find the end zone on the half’s opening drive, a seven-yard rushing touchdown from Webb, who has 60 rushes on 10 carries.
The drive started beautifully, with a 30-yard completion from Travis to Terry to set the Noles up in Notre Dame territory.
FSU attempted to make it a seven-point game with a two-point conversion, but failed.
HALFTIME: NOTRE DAME 35 - FLORIDA STATE 20
Well, here’s the thing, it could be much worse. It some how could be better? FSU’s offense still can’t find much of a consistent rhythm. Jordan Travis looks like he belongs undercenter as QB1, though.
Numbers from the first 30.
2nd Quarter, 0:11: 35-20, Notre Dame
Another lightning quick strike, under a minute, scoring drive by the Irish, who march 57 yards in eight plays to get a touchdown before the half on Ian Book’s second passing TD of the game, to Lenzy Braden from six yards out.
Another drive in which the Irish really did whatever they felt like doing moving the ball.
2nd Quarter, 1:17: 28-20, Notre Dame
The longest drive we’ve seen, from either side, has just been put together by the Seminoles, who convert a Ryan Fitzgerald 26-yard field goal following a 13-play, 67-yard drive and bring the Noles within a touchdown (and a two-point conversion).
La’Damian Webb was the workhorse on the drive, rushing five times for 51 yards.
2nd Quarter, 5:25: 28-17, Notre Dame
Notre Dame opts to give Kyren Williams a rest and goes to Chris Tyree, who takes consecutive rushes for a combined 58 yards, including a 45-yard rushing touchdown - his second of the season - to extend the Irish lead.
Before that scoring drive, FSU had started to find some success stopping the run. But were unable to do so on that drive.
2nd Quarter, 12:27: 21-17, Notre Dame
Back and forth we go, as the Irish log the first points of the second term on a one-yard touchdown rush by Williams, his second of the game.
Irish QB Ian Book attempted to run it in himself, but the Noles did a good job of keeping him out of the endzone, although it was that rush that set up the easy one-yard rush to the outside by Williams.
Lets see what kind of answer the Seminoles offense can put together - we haven’t really seen them answer following a competent ND drive tonight.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: FLORIDA STATE 17 - NOTRE DAME 14
Raise your hand if you thought the Seminoles would lead after 15 minutes.
Put your hands down. All of you. You’re liars.
Anyway, a pretty wacky quarter. At one point, Kyren Williams had more yards than the entire Seminole offense. Now, the Noles lead by three. With the Irish having been off for three weeks, it’s unsurprising miscues have happened, although I admit I didn’t think we’d see a fumble inside of the first two plays, nor a muffed punt, which so far has been the key point in terms of turning the tide in FSU’s favor.
1st Quarter, 0:38: 17-14, Florida State
It’s the Seminoles turn for a quick-strike scoring drive, needing just four plays to cover 71 yards in 1:13 to take their second lead of the game, as Travis and Tamorrion Terry, on his third catch of the game, connect for a 48-yard touchdown.
That is a momentum-delivering drive for FSU, who were scored on a third-and-four play. Travis targeted Terry three times on that drive.
1st Quarter, 1:52: 14-10, Notre Dame
Remember that whole thing “if the Noles defense had an answer, this thing could be competitive.” thing? Well, Williams wasn’t much of a factor last drive, but they did force Notre Dame three-and-out for the first time tonight and have the ball down by just four.
1st Quarter, 2:51: 14-10, Notre Dame
A bit of an emotional swing here for FSU: It looked like the Noles were on their way to giving the ball back to the Irish after logging their first three-and-out of the game, but a muffed punt inside the Irish 20 gave new life to the Seminoles, who get their first touchdown of the game thanks to a four-yard scoring rush by Travis.
All 10 of FSU’s points tonight have come off turnovers. If only the Noles defense had an answer for Kyren Williams, this thing could be competitive.
1st Quarter, 6:10: 14-3, Notre Dame
A bit longer of a drive for Notre Dame, this one was five plays, and it was Williams again with the big blow and, this time, the final blow.
After his 65-yard rush last drive, he follows it up with a 46-yard touchdown rush on this drive, capping a five-play, 76-yard scoring drive for the Irish, taking just 2:19. ND having whatever they want on offense right now.
Oh, and that Williams guy? Already over 117 yards on just five touches - he’s averaging 23.4 yards each time he touches the football (that fumble is forgiven, methinks). FSU’s woes trying to stop the run continue. As Will explains:
1st Quarter, 10:43: 7-3, Notre Dame
That dream start we talked about a moment ago is completely off the board. On the first play of the drive, Kyren Williams makes up for his fumble and finds a seam up the middle of the line of scrimmage for a 65-yard rush, setting the Irish up at the FSU 10.
Notre Dame capped the drive with a touchdown three plays later, on a Ian Book touchdown pass to Michael Mayer from eight-yards out.
In total, a three-play, 75-yard drive in 1:20 gives the Irish their first lead of the game.
1st Quarter, 12:03: 3-0, Florida State
A dream start defensively for the Noles, less so for the offense, who had a minimal-gain rushing play, a false start and a sack inside of their first two plays from scrimmage. However, a 12-yard QB scamper from Travis sets up a 42-yard field goal from Ryan Fitzgerald to give the Seminoles the game’s first lead.
1st Quarter, 14:10: 0-0
On the second play of the game from scrimmage, ND running back Kyren Williams coughs it up at the Irish 32 and Asante Samuel Jr. picks it up. After a review, the play stood, and the Noles are set up in a near dream perfect start scenario.
The Seminoles have won the coin toss and defers. We will open the game with the Fighting Irish on offense.
Hello one and all, and thanks for joining me for yet another Seminole Saturday. First of all, I’d like to thank our Will Desautelle for filling in for me last week for the Jacksonville State game as I was on vacation in Cincinnati. He did a tremendous job and will be a big part of our game day coverage moving forward, including tonight, where he’ll pen the recap. So stay tuned for that. He’ll also be doing a bit of live tweetin' himself, so be sure you’re following him, along with myself and WCTV Sports.
As for this game, I have optimistic thoughts regarding the Noles chances; winning last week, especially building momentum in the form of a comeback, should do wonders for their confidence. I also don’t know how crisp Notre Dame will look after nearly a month off from competition.
I’m also looking forward to what this Noles offense looks like with Travis as QB1 and what it’ll look like with a (hopefully) competent running game and four legitimate threats in the back field.
As mentioned above, NBC is the place to be as you follow along, or if you’re running some late-Saturday errands, we’ll have all of your coverage needs.
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