Florida State might finally be able to enjoy a week of peace.
In its biggest game of the season, the Seminoles rallied from five different deficits to take a 31-27 lead midway through the fourth quarter and escaped with a win.
Notre Dame didn’t go down without a fight, though.
During the Irish's final possession, they got down to the Florida State 2-yard line and appeared to have the game-winning touchdown when Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson found Corey Robinson in the end zone with 13 seconds left. But a debatable pass-interference call negated the score and backed the Irish up to the 18. On the final play, Golson, who had been stellar all game, threw up a desperation pass that landed in the hands of a Florida State defender outside the back of the end zone.
The victory pushes the Seminoles' winning streak to 23 games and quarterback Jameis Winston continues his undefeated streak as the Seminoles' starter.
The game actually ended up being better than advertised.
Notre Dame came in as a double-digit underdog — an almost unheard-of line in contests involving top-5 teams — but it was the aggressor throughout. The Irish started the scoring and continued to hold a lead into the fourth quarter. However, Florida State wouldn’t let the game get too far away.
Every time Notre Dame scored, Florida State had an almost immediate answer. It was not until there was 7:39 remaining in the fourth quarter that Florida State took the lead for good on a 1-yard run by Karlos Williams.
Winston, who has been much maligned this season mostly because of his off-field issues, was brilliant in the second half. He threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and displayed nearly perfect passing in the second half. It was his play and composure, especially in the face of Notre Dame’s blitzing defense, that helped the Seminoles get the win.
Florida State needed this win more than Notre Dame because its schedule doesn’t get any harder. This was by far the most difficult game on the Seminoles' docket and it will likely keep them in the hunt for the College Football Playoff as they head into a bye week. It also could move Florida State back into first place in the national polls after being supplanted by Mississippi State last week. The Bulldogs were idle this week.
Notre Dame isn’t out of the playoff mix. Its schedule is strong enough to weather one loss, but it would have to win out to be considered.
For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.
For more Notre Dame news, visit IrishIllustrated.com.
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