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Quick Reflection on ND vs FSU

It was a hot and steamy night in Tallahassee last Sunday when the Irish took the field to square off against what was once one of our more formidable rivals, the Florida State Seminoles. Emotions ran high for the Seminoles and their fans that evening as they honored their longtime coach, Bobby Bowden, who had recently passed away. The Irish were ranked #9 in the preseason polls and were favored to win handily. There seemed to be no reason to be concerned about our opponent that night.

The Irish offense got off to a great start led by the graduate transfer QB from Wisconsin, Jack Coan. Coan used sophomore tight end, Michael Mayer, as his primary target, and the Irish easily scored their first touchdown. Even our new Defensive Coordinator, Marcus Freeman, had the defense looking sharp in the first couple of Florida State possessions, but then the wheels started to fall off the Notre Dame bus!

The Irish running game, which in the past has been one of our mainstays on offense, was virtually ineffective. The new defense started to look like Swiss cheese in a 3-3-5 set as the Seminole’s offense came roaring back to life. Thank God for our preseason All-Everything, Kyle Hamilton, whose 2 interceptions kept Notre Dame in the game.

For most of the game, the lead shifted back and forth between the teams, but at one point, Notre Dame was ahead by 18 points. Then, the starting FSU quarterback, Jordan Travis, lost his helmet and had to be replaced by McKenzie Milton and the entire stadium went crazy as Milton completed his first pass and then stayed in for the remainder of the game. We soon found out that Milton had suffered a “catastrophic” injury to his right leg and was told he would never walk again, much less play football. Notre Dame’s lead started to crumble as Milton went on to lead the Seminoles on two scoring possessions to tie the game.

Winning the toss in OT proved to be “The Luck of the Irish” for Notre Dame as the FSU kicker’s field goal attempt sailed wide left and sure footed Jonathan Doerer was able to nail the ball straight through the goalposts to secure the win for the Irish.

The Irish will take on the Toledo Rockets at Notre Dame Stadium at 2:30 PM tomorrow exclusively on Peacock. We hope to see Chris Tyree and Kyren Williams tearing up the turf along with a much tighter defense.

And as always, GO IRISH!

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