Notre Dame football moved to 10-0 and kept its College Football Playoff hopes alive in dominant fashion over Florida State on a blustery Senior Day in South Bend.
It’s almost getting a little bit redundant to continue saying it, but it’s a good problem to have: Notre Dame is undefeated as it rolls into the final two games of its regular season. The Irish weren’t perfect Saturday night, but clearly showed they were the better team, beating the Florida State Seminoles 42-13 on Senior Day in South Bend.
Backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush returned to the starting lineup in what was likely his final game in Notre Dame Stadium. The senior threw for 3 touchdowns on the night to likely put a cap on an up-and-down Notre Dame career.
Fellow senior Dexter Williams also put an exclamation mark on his Notre Dame Stadium career by carrying the ball 20 times for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns.
But neither of the two seniors are done, as the Irish continue to have their eyes on bigger obstacles in the future. Should Notre Dame find themselves competing for a National Championship in late December and early January, Wimbush will certainly be remembered for the way he lead the Irish to start the season. Williams, despite his four-game suspension to start the season, has been a key cog in the Irish offense since his return. No matter how the rest of the season plays out, both will be remembered for their contributions to this particular Irish team.
The Irish started the game hot. On the game’s second play from scrimmage, another senior, defensive back Nick Coleman, intercepted a Florida State pass on a batted ball and returned it down to the 3 yard-line. This set up the first of Wimbush’s 3 touchdown passes, this one going to Miles Boykin.
Then, the Irish defense forced Florida State into a three-and-out and the offense followed that by marching the ball 81 yards in 14 plays, with Wimbush hitting senior Alize Mack for a 6-yard score to cap the drive.
From there, it really was all Irish. Notre Dame’s defense, lead by seniors Drue Tranquill, Te’Von Coney, and Jerry Tillery held Florida State in check all night. The Seminoles were only able to muster an average of 4.12 yards per play, thanks mostly to the dominant play of Notre Dame’s defensive line.
Williams, as mentioned, seemed to spark the Irish multiple times when it seemed a lull could be coming. His 58-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was a vintage Williams moment that put he Irish up 32-6 heading into halftime.
And while winning on senior day is important, the Irish seniors have their sights set on bigger things. For these seniors–the ones who fell just short of a College Football Playoff berth in 2015, stuck through the misery of 2016, and fell just short again in 2017, competing for a National Championship at season’s end would be a storybook ending to their Notre Dame football careers.