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Notre Dame Football

No. 5 Notre Dame grounds Noles, 42-26

October 10, 2020

Notre Dame had a bit of rust.

Florida State showed some previously unseen spunk.

Neither was enough to derail the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish Saturday night inside Notre Dame Stadium.

Spurred by quarterback Ian Book's three touchdowns and Kyren Williams' career-best rushing effort, Notre Dame outgunned the Seminoles, 42-26, to move to 3-0 on the season, 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference after a three-week layoff due to an Irish COVID-19 outbreak.

After FSU took early leads of 3-0 and 17-14, Notre Dame finally seized control with a 21-point second quarter that left the hosts on top by 11 at the break, 28-17, before an announced crowd of 10,409.

Book finished 16-for-25 for 201 yards, two touchdowns and one rushing score on nine tries that covered 58 yards.

Notre Dame gashed FSU for more than 550 yards' offense, 353 of which came on the ground. Freshman Chris Tyree added 103 yards on 11 carries, long of 45, and scored a touchdown.

Book's first scoring toss went to freshman tight end Michael Mayer, the first of Mayer's career; Book also connected with Braden Lenzy on a crossing route in the first half for a score.

The Seminoles, winless against Football Bowls Subdivision foes in Mike Norvell's first year atop the program, used their athleticism to consistently move the ball against the Irish's previously stingy defense.

Notre Dame, however, made key stops when it most needed them. The Irish got a two-point-conversion pass-breakup from both DJ Brown and Shaun Crawford when it was 35-26, and later a goal-line interception from Crawford seven minutes into the fourth to preserve the win.

The Irish defense, despite allowing 405 yards, sacked the Seminoles four times and notched nine total tackles for losses. Kyle Hamilton and TaRiq Bracy led the defense with eight tackles apiece. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Ade Ogundeji and Bo Bauer each registered a pair of tackles-for-losses.

Notre Dame committed a pair of turnovers; Williams fumbled in the game's opening moments and Lawrence Keys III muffed a punt that FSU recovered.

Stalwart offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg missed a significant stretch of the first half with an eye injury, but he returned in the second half. Irish linebacker Paul Moala was taken to the locker room before halftime for an injury and did not return.

The Fighting Irish are scheduled for their fourth-straight home game next Saturday when Louisville, a loser Friday night at Georgia Tech, visits for the afternoon kick. Notre Dame then is scheduled for five of its final six games on the road.

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