Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 20 of 55 OCT. 17, 2020 21 BY LOU SOMOGYI A fter 20 days of not playing a football game since the start of the season, more than a week's worth of canceled practices and nearly one-third of the Notre Dame team in late Septem- ber undergoing isolation or quar- antine from the coronavirus, the No. 5-ranked Fighting Irish turned to their 2020 identity to spark a 42-26 victory over Florida State. Physicality. It applied to both sides of the ball, but especially the running at- tack. Head coach Brian Kelly praised Notre Dame's veteran offensive line as the best five-man assemblage he has had there, and the group took command early and often while helping the Irish rack up 353 rushing yards and 8.4 yards per carry. Sophomore running back Kyren Williams romped for 185 yards, freshman Chris Tyree 103 and quar- terback Ian Book 58, complemented by a calm Book also completing 16 of 25 passes for 201 yards. Williams rushed for two scores, while Tyree and Book each notched one, plus Book threw for a pair of touchdowns. While the tackling on defense was the most vulnerable area for rust, and showed while falling behind 17-14 at the end of the first quarter, the Irish limited the Seminoles to nine points over the final 45 minutes. The cornerback position was hit particularly hard with the coronavi- rus. Fifth-year senior Nick McCloud and freshman Clarence Lewis, both starters or co-starters, were not avail- able to practice until two days before the game, per Kelly, while sopho- more Cam Hart had just come out of quarantine. Consequently, sixth-year senior safety Shaun Crawford received the start at corner with junior TaRiq Bracy — who had been unavailable the previous game versus South Flor- ida Sept. 19. Kelly awarded the game ball to head trainer Rob Hunt and team physician Dr. Matt Leiszler. "We couldn't have been here today without their extraordinary efforts to get our football team safe and healthy," Kelly said. "Just to be here talking about a victory is really satisfying … to have our guys be selfless, take care of themselves and put themselves in a position to win a football game today, I couldn't be more proud." FIRST QUARTER FLORIDA STATE, 17-14 Top Moment(s): After falling be- hind 14-3, the Seminoles turned the game around when a fumbled punt by junior Lawrence Keys III was re- covered by the Seminoles' Deonte Sheffield at the Notre Dame 19. Three plays later, FSU quarterback Jordan Travis scored from four yards out on an option play with 2:51 left and reduced the deficit to 14-10. With 38 seconds remaining, Travis then launched a 48-yard touchdown to Tamorrion Terry, who beat Craw- ford deep on a double move. Feature Performer: Following a lost fumble by Irish leading rusher Williams on the game's second play that set up a Florida State field goal and a 3-0 lead, Williams on his next carry romped for a 65-yard gain. Two plays later, freshman tight end Mi- chael Mayer snared his first career touchdown with an eight-yard toss from Book on a drag route. On the Irish series after his 65-yard run, Williams burst through the left side untouched on a counter for a 46-yard touchdown that helped pro- vide Notre Dame a 14-3 lead at the 6:10 mark. Williams' six carries in the quarter netted 120 yards. For Florida State, quarterback Jor- dan Travis completed 5 of 7 throws for 107 yards with a score and added 25 yards rushing with another tally. Stats: Notre Dame totaled 202 yards (128 rushing and 74 passing) while Florida State amassed 142 (107 pass- ing and 35 rushing), 132 by Travis. Items: On the second play from scrimmage, Williams lost a fumble that Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. recovered at the Notre Dame 32-yard line. Three plays later, Ryan Fitzgerald converted a 42-yard field goal … A sack by fifth-year senior defensive end Ade Ogundeji and pass broken up by Crawford ended FSU's second drive … On the final play of the quarter, fifth-year senior wideout Javon McKinley hauled in a 35-yard pass from Book to give Notre Dame a first down at the FSU 36-yard line. SECOND QUARTER NOTRE DAME, 35-20 Top Moment: After Florida State pulled within 28-20 with 1:17 left, Notre Dame answered with a kickoff return to the Irish 43-yard line by senior running back Jafar Armstrong. Aided by a Florida State personal foul and the running of Book, Notre Dame extended the lead to 35-20 with 11 seconds remaining with a six-yard score to junior wide receiver Braden Lenzy on a crossing route. Feature Performer: The Notre Dame offensive line, despite an eye in- jury to senior left tackle Liam Eichen- berg that shelved him the remainder of the first half, dominated, totaling 240 rushing yards in the first half on 20 carries (12.0 yards per attempt). Se- nior left guard Aaron Banks shifted to Eichenberg's spot, while senior Dillan Gibbons was plugged in at left guard. Stats: Travis was only 3-of-9 pass- ing in the frame for 37 yards. Items: With 12:27 remaining, Wil- liams scored from a yard out to end a 75-yard drive in eight plays and re- gain the Irish lead for good at 21-17 … The defense then forced a three-and- out, with junior cornerback Bracy re- cording a tackle for a six-yard loss and then breaking up a pass … Tyree's second career touchdown came on a 45-yard burst through a massive hole on the left side to put Notre Dame ahead 28-17 with 5:25 remaining … Tyree began that 81-yard drive with a six-yard run on a counter and added Rust Resistant Offensive line, 353-yard ground attack pace 42-26 victory over Florida State after early mishaps Sophomore running back Kyren Williams led the way for Notre Dame's 353-yard ground assault, compiling a career-high 185 yards with 46- and one-yard scoring runs. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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