Jack Coan shines, but the defense struggled
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish survived an overtime thriller in Tallahassee against the Florida State Seminoles by way of a 41 yard field goal from Jonathan Doerer. It was a strange game that had a wild mixture of big calls from the officials, big plays from both offenses, and big shifts in momentum. In other words… it was a heck of a college football game.
One of the great unknowns coming into the season was Wisconsin transfer quarterback, Jack Coan. He was advertised as a winning quarterback that will take some shots down the field, but isn’t the most athletic of quarterbacks. While all of that is certainly true after game one, Coan really put up a fantastic stat line. Jack went 26-35 (74%) for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns. He threw one interception — but that came at the end of regulation when he tossed a hail Mary.
Coan was sacked 4 times on the night, but the relentless pressure from FSU was there all night.
RUSHING THE BALL
It was a rough night for Notre Dame on the ground. Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree combined for 25 carries that amounted to 73 yards. The offensive line really struggled all night to establish the line of scrimmage, and the backs had to fight for every yard. Clearly the game plan was for the offense to push the ball downfield with the vertical passing game, but that should have opened up some running lanes — and it did not.
Even though Kyren Williams only rushed for 42 yards on 18 carries, he was huge in the passing game as he added another 83 yards on 6 receptions with a touchdown. The touchdown was a thing of beauty as Kyren showcased his skills in space with a big cut and lively stiff arm to get in for the score. Williams was also the punt returner for Notre Dame — though he only returned one punt for 4 yards.
Even though the defense had a bit of a rough night, Kyle Hamilton shined throughout the night with 6 tackles and 2 interceptions. Both picks came on the sideline with Kyle moving across the field and tracking the ball in the air. The ground in which he covered was quite impressive.
Isaiah Foskey had a really nice game at the Vyper position. He accounted for 8 tackles and 2 sacks for the night. While he didn’t make the stat line for QB Hurries, he was very present on the night with his pressure.
The sophomore tight end had a great night — but still managed to look like a young player on a number of occasions. Mayer finished the night with 9 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown, but his dropped ball late in the game that would have put Notre Dame in a position to win in regulation still sticks out. The 120 yards is the most by an Irish tight end since Cole Kmet in 2019 (Georgia game).
Left tackle Blake Fisher went out of the game in the third quarter but it’s likely just a sprain. Tight End Kevin Bauman left the game with a knee injury and will have to get an x-ray.