Ten Initial Thoughts: Notre Dame Runs Past Florida State
Here are 10 observations from watching Notre Dame defeat Florida State 42-26 Saturday night to move to 3-0 this season and 2-0 in the ACC.
1. Offensive Line Shines
Florida State’s defensive front has future NFL players, but it hadn’t been disruptive or stout this year. Notre Dame’s offensive line pushed it around and allowed one tackle behind the line of scrimmage. The Irish continued to establish their outside zone running identity and leaned on the counters and stretch plays that are staples.
Running backs Chris Tyree and Kyren Williams had a combined three touchdowns in the first half and were not touched on any of them. There were freighter-sized holes available. All told, the Irish ran for 353 yards on 8.4 yards per carry.
2. Florida State’s Options And Leaky Defense
Jordan Travis gives Florida State a rushing element its first two quarterback starters didn’t. And the Seminoles leaned on it as a way to keep Notre Dame off-balance all game. They called a heavy dose of read-options and tags off them, and Notre Dame defenders weren’t disciplined on the edge frequently enough to stop it.
Florida State was going to struggle to run if it tried to block Notre Dame straight up, so it got creative and carved out yardage on the ground. That was aided by some leaky tackling by Notre Dame and falling for fakes and misdirection too often.
Notre Dame allowed 4.9 yards per rush, excluding sacks. The Irish’s defense looked like a unit that hadn’t played in three weeks whose first task was stopping an intricate scheme. That won’t be an excuse next week against a Louisville offense that’s similarly option heavy and had its way with Notre Dame in the first half of last year’s meeting.
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