SOUTH BEND, INDIANA-- Senior running back Dexter Williams rushed for 202 yards & two touchdowns as No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0) beat Florida State 42-13 on Saturday night. The Fightin Irish rushed for 365 yards while the Seminoles (4-6) lost their third straight overall.
Notre Dame entered the game 5-0 at home this season & 12-3 all-time with quarterback Brandon Wimbush as their starter. And after a pass by Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois was interception by safety Nick Coleman, just two plays from scrimmage into the game, the Fightin Irish quarterback put the third ranked team in the nation on top 7-0 with a 3 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Myles Boykin.
Florida State went three & out on their next possession & Notre Dame doubled up on their lead by putting together a 14 play 81 yard drive ending with Wimbush throwing his second touchdown of the quarter, this one a 6 yard pass to tight end Alize Mack.
The Seminoles third possession of the game was even quicker than their first possession that lasted only two plays because on first down running back Cam Akers was stripped by defensive lineman Adetokunbo Ogundeji & the ball was recovered by defensive lineman Daelin Hayes.
The Fightin Irish were unable to pick up a first down after the second Seminoles turnover of the game but they did increase their lead to 17-0 after kicker Justin Yoon nailed a 26 yard field goal.
On their fourth possession, before the end of the first quarter, the Seminoles finally got a first down & put together a scoring drive. The 75 yard drive ended with Florida State using Akers in the wildcat. And the running back kept the direct snap, running it into the endzone from the left side. But Florida State kicker Ricky Aguayo had his extra point blocked & the ball was scooped up by cornerback Julian Love & returned all the way back into the end zone for a defensive extra point conversion, making the score 19-6. And the Fightin Irish didn't waste time getting the touchdown back on the next possession. Because that's when, after a 17 yard run by Wimbush on third down, Fightin Irish running back Dexter Williams ran right through the middle of the Seminoles defense for a 58 yard touchdown, his 9th rushing touchdown of the season.
Trailing 25-6, the Seminoles drove into Fightin Irish territory but on a fourth down & six from the 33 yard line, Francois threw an incomplete pass. And the Fightin Irish took over, going 67 yards on six plays with their fourth touchdown of the game coming on Mack's second touchdown of the half, this one a 15 yard diving catch in the back of the endzone.
The first half ended with Florida State trailing 32-6 & with Notre Dame gaining 141 rushing yards in the first two quarters. But after an interception by defensive back Stanford Samuels III on a pass by Wimbush, just three plays into the second half, the Seminoles made the score 32-13 when Akers got his second touchdown run of the game, this time from seven yards out.
Following Akers' second touchdown, Notre Dame's next drive stalled in Florida State territory & Yoon kicked a 35 yard field goal, his second of the game. The Seminoles next drive ended after five plays but after getting the ball back, Wimbush threw his second interception of the half. And the Seminoles were able to move the ball inside the Fightin Irish 10 yard line. But after moving the ball all the way to the one yard line, Francois was pressured into throwing an incomplete pass in the endzone on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Fightin Irish.
Notre Dame took the following possession 97 yards, 69 of those yards coming from Williams, who finished off the drive wth a 32 yard touchdown run, his second of the game.
Florida State looks to end their losing streak next Saturday at home against conference foe Boston College.