Notre Dame was able to survive Florida State backup quarterback McKenzie Milton’s unexpected comeback during an emotional evening when the Seminoles honored Bobby Bowden.
Jonathan Doerer scored a 41-yard field goal during overtime. After overcoming an 18-point deficit on Sunday, 9 Notre Dame won with a 41-38 win.
Ryan Fitzgerald, Florida State’s kicker, missed his 37-yard attempt from overtime. Notre Dame was able to run a few plays and get Doerer’s kick.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly stated that winning against a tough team on the road is what’s important. We know there is more work ahead, but this team is a pleasure to watch. We will improve and make great strides in week 2.
Bowden, a seminole coach who won two national titles, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 8.
Bowden’s trademark logo hat logo and “Bobby”, the Florida State script, were displayed at the 25 yard line. Coaches from Florida State also wore logos to their polo shirts. The Florida State Marching Chiefs played “Amazing Grace” and spelled “Bobby” on the field at halftime.
Milton, a UCF graduate transfer quarterback, was unable to play in a game after sustaining a serious leg injury in November 2018. He made his first pass at Ja’Khi Doug from 22 yards.
Treshaun Ward finished the drive with a 2-yard run. Fitzgerald tied the game with a 43 yard field goal with 40 seconds remaining. Milton was 5th of 7 for 48 yards, with three rushes to go 6 yards.
Milton stated, “It was the right time to roll.” “I didn’t have the time to process any emotions. It was a job that had to be done. God is real. This is the only thing I can affirm. This is the first time anyone has ever been able to come back from such an injury. Since the day I was hurt, thousands of people have prayed for me. Believe in me, coaches Without your support and prayers, I wouldn’t be here.
Florida State began the comeback with Jordan Travis connecting to Andrew Parchment for an 8-yard touchdown pass. When Travis’ helmet fell off, Milton was able to enter the game and found Douglas to continue the fight.
Jack Coan made 26 of 35 passes, gaining 366 yards and four touchdowns during his Notre Dame debut. Coan was able to throw touchdown passes to Joe Wilkins, Kyren Williams and Michael Mayer. With 4:37 left in the third quarter, Notre Dame led 38-20
Florida State has lost five consecutive season openers. While the Seminoles have rallied, they can also point out three turnovers aswell as nine penalties.
Travis completed two touchdown passes, and ran for another. He also threw three interceptions, two to Notre Dame star safety Kyle Hamilton. All three interceptions were capitalized by the Fighting Irish, who scored touchdowns.
JashaunCorbin ran for Florida State a touchdown of 89 yards. Corbin had 15 carries for 144 yards to pace the Seminoles’ 269 yards on the ground.
Notre Dame was largely ineffective at the ground. They rushed for only 65 yards a season after accumulating 353 rushing yards against Florida State.
Kelly stated, “We need to run the ball better.” Kelly stated, “Clearly, that will be an accent here this week. We are not here to just throw the ball around the yard without having a solid running game.
Notre Dame’s offense was astonishingly unfocused. They ran 35 times for 65 yards in four quarters. Instead, the Fighting Irish relied on Coan’s efficiency and opportunistic defense.
Florida State was hit with three costly turnovers, but Milton’s quick passes and his running helped to bring the game back to a tie. The Seminoles ran for 249 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per run.
Notre Dame was not among the upsets in a week. The Fighting Irish will likely keep their place in the top 10.
Notre Dame: Hosts Toledo on Saturday.
Florida State: Hosts Jacksonville State on Saturday.