Jonathan Doerer made a 41-yard field goal in overtime and No. 9 Notre Dame escaped with a 41-38 victory after Florida State overcame an 18-point deficit Sunday night
Ryan Fitzgerald’s 37-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left to begin overtime, allowing Notre Dame to run a few plays and set up Doerer’s kick.
Florida State backup quarterback McKenzie Milton nearly pulled off an emotional victory on a night the Seminoles honored Bobby Bowden, the coaching great who died at 91 of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 8. The Seminoles wore a back helmet bumper with Bowden’s signature, the coaching staff’s polo shirts had a Bowden patch on a sleeve and the “Bobby” signature and his trademark straw hat were painted on each 25-yard line. Bowden won national titles in 1993 and ’99 during his 34 years at Florida State.
Jack Coan completed 26 of 35 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns in his Notre Dame debut. Coan threw touchdown passes to Michael Mayer, Kyren Williams, Kevin Austin and Joe Wilkins. Notre Dame led 38-20 with 4:37 to go in the third quarter.
Florida State rallied to force overtime, with Jordan Travis connecting with Andrew Parchment on an 8-yard touchdown strike, Treshaun Ward scoring on a 2-yard run, and Fitzgerald tying it with a 43-yard field goal with 40 seconds left.
Milton entered the game when Travis’ helmet popped off, and the UCF grad transfer quarterback fired a 22-yard strike to Ja’Khi Douglas — his first college pass since suffering a gruesome leg injury in November 2018. Ward scored his rushing touchdown to complete Milton’s first drive.
Milton finished 5 of 7 for 48 yards with three rushes for 6 yards.
Florida State has lost five straight season openers.
Travis started for Florida State, throwing two touchdown passes and running for another score. But he also threw three interceptions — two to Notre Dame star safety Kyle Hamilton. The Fighting Irish capitalized all three times by scoring touchdowns.
Jashaun Corbin had an 89-yard touchdown run for Florida State.
Notre Dame was stunningly one dimensional on offense, rushing 35 times for 65 yards through four quarters. The Fighting Irish instead leaned on an opportunistic defense as well as Coan’s efficiency.
Florida State suffered from three costly turnovers but Milton’s timely passes and running sparked a comeback to tie the game. The Seminoles ran for 264 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
Notre Dame will likely retain its spot in the top 10.
Notre Dame: Hosts Toledo on Saturday.
Florida State: Hosts Jacksonville State on Saturday.