Shamrock Stickers: Notre Dame v. Florida State

Notre Dame suffered its first loss of the season in heartbreaking fashion on the road at Florida State. The Irish were the victims of a very controversial offensive pass interference call with under a minute to play to take the winning score off the board. The Irish executed their game plan well on both offense and defense, showing balanced play calling, pressuring the quarterback and winning the battle in the trenches. The Irish were not able to hold on despite leading the game most of the way thanks in large part to the play of Jameis Winston in the second half. Many Irish players played well in the loss, highlighted by this group:

Corey Robinson

The Admiral’s son had his best game as a member of the Irish in the season’s first defeat. Robinson made several important third down and fourth down catches to keep drives alive and was a huge matchup problem for the Seminoles. Robinson had eight catches for a team-high 99 yards and two touchdowns and saw his game winning score be taken away by penalty.

Tarean Folston

Florida native Tarean Folston continues to stake his claim as the number one running back for the Irish. Folston was instrumental to the Irish game plan which included a heavy dosage of running the ball downhill and relying on the Irish offensive line’s dominance. When the Irish were at their best they were putting together long drives in which they controlled the ball and kept the Seminoles of the field and those drives were led by Folston. The sophomore rushed for 120 yards on 21 carries.

Jarron Jones

Defensive tackle Jarron Jones is picking up were Louis Nix left off in dominating opposing offensive lines. Florida State’s interior lineman simply could not handle Jones who was getting pressure early and often on Winston. Jones was also the central force in essentially eliminating Florida State’s ground game from the equation for the majority of the game. Jones had six tackles including three tackles for loss.

Joe Schmidt

Irish linebacker Joe Schmidt had a solid game versus the Seminoles. Schmidt did a solid job of blitzing up the middle to pressure Winston and also had his fair share of big hits to fire up the Irish. The former walk-on also had an interception that led directly to an Irish touchdown in the second quarter. Schmidt had a team-high nine tackles in the loss.

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    1. Rick, it’s over man..gotta move on. At the end of the day all that matters is we get in that playoff. They are in control of their own destiny still.

      1. rick,
        i am typing in all lower case to try and somehow offset your caps lock obsession. i do have to ask you a question: what would you like to have happen? bottom line?

        i personally think the interference call was razor thin. it could have gone either way. but i have to defer with the numerous analysts and former players who think the call was legit. i do not believe that every single one of them is an “nd hater” or that there is some conspiracy that ensured nd would lose. if the call wasn’t made, FSU would have claimed victim status. since it was made, nd is claiming it. i will say that, if fuller and prosise would have done something, anything to make it look like they were attempting to get the pass, none of it would have mattered. it is up to the receiver to sell it and the onus is on them, not the db. what is the most excruciating part is that, penalty, no penalty, perfect execution by fuller and prosise etc., none of it would have mattered. robinson was so wide open and coverage so blown, there is no way possible he could have been stopped short of the endzone. it sucks. and i have no explanation why every single official missed the fsu helmet coming off. again, it sucks. sometimes you benefit from a razor-thin, controversial call and sometimes you don’t (see stanford 2012)

        nd played a legendary game on saturday night and proved who they are and where they are. we outplayed them on their home base in front of a hostile crowd, unfazed.

        there is much to celebrate and it’s time to move on.

      2. i would be remiss if i didn’t add that i am very concerned though about the morale of sadwarrior and his platoon-mates. special operations warriors endure almost unimaginable hardships and adversity at times. coming back to his combat outpost, only to deal with the disappointment of this game must be beyond pale. we ask him to fight isis, ebola, al quaida, vader’s best stormtroopers etc. and now this.

  2. Here’s the deal:

    I don’t give a shit about the selection committee, win and when I say win I mean destroy. Destroy ever f-ing team you play. I want to see a team that doesn’t stop, doesn’t quit and destroys everything in their path. I want to see double digit wins over ASU, USuC and Louisville. I want 3-4 TD wins over Navy and Northwestern. You do that and who gives a flying f what the selection committee thinks because they’ll have no choice!

  3. uh uh, BJ, I can’t let that one slide.
    You are in the right church but the wrong pew.

    The headline of the Harvard Crimson was:
    Harvard wins 29-29. That game was noteworthy because Harvard was a decided underdog. Seriously, how often does Harvard get to play the
    “we get no respect” card. Yale had Calvin Hill and the Frank Merriwell like QBBrian Dowling, mocked by the Crimson fans as “Brian Darling”
    Harvard trailed late 29-13, and had to not only score TDs but convert two two-point plays.

    HBO or ESPN did a great job on a commemorative film. That was ’68, when ties were still a wonderful part of the game. would nd folklore be as rich without 0-0 against Army and 10-10 against Michigan State?

    1. Quick question PD. If officials call the penalty for FSU player removing his helmet, does that mean the two penalties would cancel each other out and the TD stands, or instead they replay the down again from the same LOS??? Cheers

  4. Glad Jones got a sticker. He was a monster, I mean truly scary at times. If he can keep this intensity and play like this every game the kid has a very bright future on Sundays.

      1. Really??? Aww man that changes my opinion…I thought the stickers were delivered to each player and they stick them to their wall.

        Since their not real, I take it all back. Jones sucks, he’s a waste of a scholarship.

  5. Let’s get off this play. ND lost the game. There were ample times in other places in the game for ND to seal the victory. They did not seal the victory and lost. I am sick of the whining over the call at the end of the game. If EG doesn’t get sacked on the 3rd and 6 play in the previous drive it may have resulted in a TD and ND only needs a field goal to win.

    Now where do we go from here? Win out and have a shot at the playoffs, lose one game and your out of the playoffs. They have five games remaining that are not easy. The major games where I see a chance of a loss are ASU at ASU, Louisville and USC. They need to take care of business. They also need to beat the snot out of lessor opponents and show that they are truly a dominate team. Take a look at Alabama this weekend smacking A&M in the mouth. I guess no one will buy the Kenny Thrill trademark now.

    1. I agree. And BK agrees with the same sentiment. Even he said they need to take it out of the hands of the officials, basically by scoring more points.

      I think this is just a sore spot because this was the winning touchdown called back in the last few seconds of the game. If it were an early score, there’d be some gnashing of teeth but we would have gotten over it.

      Most experts say it was a valid call. I admit I’m biased, but I’m not an official or an expert on officiating. What good or bad call, it’s done. ND has to move on and win out. If there is such a thing as a good loss, this was it. It didn’t cost ND much and it earned them some respect by non-haters. Win out and they’re in.

    2. Jack:

      I understand what you mean.
      That said, why in the name of Heaven did we throw and throw and throw some more when the running game was working for us? We had less than 3 minutes and 48 years ( 2: 53 I think–but close enough)
      Run it out–conservative, option, The so called “noles”
      couldn’t stop that for the most part —so WHY did we throw and go for all the marbles when there was plenty of time???????
      ONe thing this game DID do was gain respect for ND—when they thought we would “fold” and crumble under Bible Belt Tallahassee’s crowd. FSU will fold somewhere—there are cracks in the mortar.
      Oregon has a history of collapse —let it be so—they are not the Ducks of a few years ago.
      Win, dominate, chip on shoulder–no apologies–no Mr. Nice Guy–and if that means getting 50 points by the third or early 4th quarter–then so be it. Defense stepped it up—
      and I’m proud–

      call sucked–
      but sometimes you play the Zebras AND the other team–

      and btw, FSU –if you are going to be a Seminole for a mascot–get the right type of Indian. FSU mascot is a Plains Warrior Indian and is not fitting to a Seminole legacy as such. Noles are the ones who put their heads in the mouths of Gators and held them with strength. They were NOT horse culture Indians. (Speaking as one who is over 1/4 Indian—and not offended by Indian Mascots at all. If you are going to do it though–do it right. The Noles mascot is like the Sioux, Cheyenne or the Nez Perce of Idaho.) Oh well–Tallahassee probably doesn’t care about that —but wonder if the Seminoles in Florida or Oklahoma do??

      ND could have won the game.
      FSU did NOT win the game–
      IRISH lost it–
      Cest la vie–
      but we ARE COMPETITIVE–
      and we have respect—
      and can’t let down—
      now go
      You can do it!!!

    3. Right on Jack. ND had plenty of opportunities in the first half to put the game away. 50 plays on offense and only 17 on the board. Really!


  7. Just looked at the schedules of Miss State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia:

    Miss State plays @ Alabama and @ Ole Miss
    Ole Miss plays H to Auburn and H to Miss State
    Alabama plays @ LSU, H to Miss state and H to Auburn
    Auburn plays @ Ole Miss, H to Texas A&M, @ Georgia and @ Alabama
    Georgia plays H to Auburn

    plus the SEC Championship Game. That’s a lot of losses left on these team’s schedules.

  8. As tough of a loss as this was, there’s still good news. First, they played a top-flight team on the road and could’ve/should’ve won the game. They play that well in the next 5 games and they’ll run the table. Next, the loss could be good for ND in that it’s going to give them a chip on their shoulder and they’ll be out to prove in the next 5 games that they were the better team against FSU. Other teams have done that in the past. No reason why this team can’t.

    Finally, they’re still in it. There are guaranteed losses by the other teams in contention. Alabama plays Auburn, Ole Miss plays Miss State, Michigan State plays Ohio State. Assuming Georgia runs the table, they’ll have to play the winner of the SEC West. Someone must lose these games. This doesn’t even take into consideration other possible match-ups and upsets. Best case scenario is that FSU goes unbeaten. If ND’s going to have a loss this year, that was a good loss to have.

    GO IRISH !!!

  9. You decide.

    Current rankings:

    #1 Miss. St 6-0
    #2 Florida St. 7-0
    #3 Ole Miss. 7-0
    #4 Alabama 6-1 lost to then #11 Ole Miss 23-17 (6)
    #5 Auburn 5-1 lost to then #3 Miss St. 38-23 (15)
    #6 Oregon 6-1 lost to unranked Arizona 31-24 (7)
    #7 Notre Dame 6-1 lost to #2 Florida St 31-27 (4)
    #8 Mich St. lost to then #3 Oregon 46-27 (19)
    #9 Georgia 6-1 lost to then #24 So Carolina 38-35 (3)
    #10 TCU 6-1 lost to then #5 Baylor 61-58 (3)

    So Alabama loses to then #11 Ole Miss by 6, Auburn loses to then #3 Miss St by 15, and Oregon loses to an unranked Arizona team by 7.

    So how is it that those 3 teams rank ahead of the Irish who lost on the road to the #2 team in the nation and defending National Champion by only 4?

    Ok, Alabama I’ll give ya, maybe even an Auburn team that has played just 6 games and lost their one game by 15. Maybe.

    But Oregon? Freaking Oregon? Who loses at home to an unranked Arizona team by 7! Ranked 6th ? Ahead of Notre Dame, ahead of Georgia for that matter?

    1. The AP rankings will mean diddly once the Playoff Committee rankings start coming out.

      They are supposed to look at the entire picture. We’ll see starting a week from now.

      Rankings are very convuluted for the AP. You also have to look at the quality of the wins. ND having some hiccups with North Carolina may have played into it a bit.

      But consider, ND only dropped 2 spots after the loss. That does say a lot about the “quality” of the loss for ND and that’s why I think if they win out, they’re in.

      1. Rule #1. In college football, the billion dollar enterprise that it is, “everything’ has a pourpose and a meaning.

        What the committee is suposed to look at, and what they will look at, could very well be two different things (See rule #1)

        If you want to call ND’s home win against UNC a hiccup thats cool, but I guess that would then make #6 Oregon’s home loss a complete choke.

        ND dropping 2 spots, is one spot too many….as quality losses go.

      2. We’ll see how the selection committee ranks things. Not having any frame of reference yet, it’s hard to say how they will rank teams.

        If there is such a thing as a “quality” loss, ND has that. Most of College Football land (outside of the ND haters) believe ND played a great game. I believe the playoff committee probably saw it in much the same light.

        Mark my words, if they win out they will be in. Some of the teams above us are going to lose (esp. since some play each other). But it’s critical they win out.

        So they probably won’t be in the top 4 in next weeks committee poll. But that is no reason to panic. If they take care of business they will be in.

  10. Folks, it was a BS call and they missed that kid taking his helmet off, but the team needs to have amnesia and move on and so do we as fans. We can still get in the playoffs with 1 loss mark my words. As much chaos as there has been in college football more top teams are going to be upset and im betting on one of the mississippi teams to lose at least 2. We can’t win them all and as much as this loss stings there are adjustments we could’ve and should’ve made to ensure victory. You have to admit though…if that TD doesn’t get called back we are looking at quite possibly the greatest game winning drive in ND history.

    1. ND only dropped 2/3 spots in the polls that means the voters thought it was a BS call too. Kelly doesn’t need to remind them through the media. He needs to circle the wagons and rally the team around it. They have two weeks to prepare for Navy’s option attack and cut blocks. He and Van Gorder to to get ready for that. Has Van Gorder faced the option before? I remember how Diaco struggled that first time.

      1. We need to be wary of injuries against Navy like always…there is gonna be some major chopping and it isn’t coming from a lumberjack.

  11. Anybody that thinks BK isn’t the real deal should go watch some other team. He’s as good as there is in CF right now.

  12. This might be the best result possible. We dominated in every statistical category; we proved we belong. We lost by a hair’s-breadth on a controverted call. Nobody can say the NCAA favours the Irish. There should be some real fire in the bellies now; stop playing not to lose and go kick some serious butt. Kelly needs to redefine the season as a search for justice/redemption from now on in. Like what Bama did when they lost to LSU in the regular season only to win the NC game.

    We win out, and it will be hard to keep us out.

    Kelly just needs to build and keep the logs on the fire that should have been lit on Saturday night. Justice, apparently, is hard to come by in Tallahassee Florida.

  13. “Adversity Elicits Talent” – Ara Parseghian
    “In adversity is opportunity” – Lou Holtz

    We are about to find out if Brian Kelly is the real deal. The next five games will define his coaching tenure at Notre Dame. ND is still in the hunt at 7/8 with two road games against ranked teams. The SEC teams ahead of them will cancel each other out as Alabama plays Auburn and MSU plays Ole Miss. Can Kelly finally get this program to play with a chip on its shoulder? That’s what has been missing. In college football after a tough loss the players look to the coach. Kelly has to play this just right. Will he spit a diamond or coal?

    1. I agree. BK needs to remind the team that a playoff spot is very much attainable if they do all the right things and win out. In fact, the way they played FSU likely impressed the selection committee. They led FSU in many categories. They almost won the game and only lost due to a penalty.

      There are things ND can and should clean up, but BK should make sure the team holds its head up high. They played the number 2 team in the country and almost came away with the win.

      I’m not big on “moral victories” but BK can’t let the team get down about this loss and lose it’s way. There is still very much to play for.

      I do think BK is the real deal. I think he has made some fundamental changes that have helped ND. I mean, how long has it been since someone can say ND is the toughest team on someone’s schedule.

      In this case I think BK needs to be a cheerleader for the team, keep them focused, and remind the team that overall, they played a good game.

      1. “How long has it been since someone can say ND is the toughest team on someone’s schedule.”

        Also, agree re: BK real deal.

    2. Bravo Patrick. Couldn’t agree more. On Saturday night – despite the loss – the Irish showed that they can indeed play on the national stage. The last time they played there Alabama embarrassed them. This might be a different Irish team but maybe it isn’t. We’ll know better after a few more games.

      1. Duffy Dougherty was defined by the 10-10 tie. Ara went on, beat USC and won two NationalChampionship. Jimmy Johnson is still whining about that fumble in the ’88 game.

      2. Jimmy Johnson would whine if his hair spray would run out. He needs to get over it and weep under some magnolia trees in Mississippi and wonder what the hell happened to his piece of crap “university” and their thug and ghetto boys who never did grow up. Jimmy? Jimmy who??

  14. How the refs missed the Williams kid taking off his helmet and tossing it was a complete joke. At the worse it should have been a replay of the down.

    1. I remain amazed that the ref farthest away from the ‘infraction’ can make the call he did whilst the closer refs ‘missed it’, and yet nobody saw the helmet.

      I understand how the first can happen, or the second, but having them both occur on the same play is a perfect storm of gall. Badly done, ACC, badly done.

  15. “The Irish were the victims of a very controversial offensive pass interference call with under a minute to play to take the winning score off the board.” Come on you can do better than this. Why don’t you kiss them. This is the under statement of the year. Corruption to the core.

    1. “Victims”?? You’ve got to be kidding. It was the most obvious example of offensive interference imaginable. All the domers whining about this call need to stop talking about football, because they clearly don’t know diddly squat about how it’s played.

    2. Well, he could certainly do worse. He could mouth the ESPN line of how it was the right call . . . against the guy who wasn’t flagged. That’s the story over at OFD.

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