Notre Dame v. Florida State 2014 Highlights: Irish Lose Heartbreaker

Notre Dame lost an absolute heart breaker last night to Florida State in Tallahassee on a controversial call that took a would be game winning touchdown off of the scoreboard and sending Notre Dame home with their first loss of the year. The call will be debated for years to come, but to get started, we’ll start off with the game highlights.

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  1. Dtrain, I would surmise that FSU would retroactively forfeit the game.
    all those signatures, not compensation……..

    But Dtrain I am glad you brought up Shaq Thompson. He may well be the nation’s best defensive player. Funny thing, in this recruiting
    frenzy we sometimes miss some things. When the great Tee Shepard, a kid I’ll always be fond of, was doing a recruiting interview, the discussion
    turned to Shaq Thompson, from nearby, and legendary, Sacramento Grant.

    Tee smiled and said “Shaq? He’s the king of the jungle!”

    Shaq Thompson on this ND defense???? Oh, Mama!

    We would be having lengthy, heated and pointless debates about who is better:
    Thompson or Smith.

    1. Shaq is also playing RB for the Huskies Super talented kid playing both ways now. Thats why I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Jaylon could also excel at the RB position. We will never see that but he would be a beast running the football.

      1. Yes, and also why we mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it is a terrible idea. We will continue to say it is a bad idea every time you bring it up.

      2. Im not saying it would be a good idea DickHead. Just that he is talented enough to play both ways.

  2. Fuller did nothing wrong. Sorry. Terrible call. Hey Biff McNamara, how did Fuller not “turn to look at the QB” when he literally spun around doing a 360? Nice try though, Biff. Darby wasn’t even thinking about trying to fight through that so-called pick until the ball was caught. He was swarming Fuller, which is all he was trying to do while Fuller tried running his pattern.

    I understand and appreciate the “it was a tough call, live with it approach” but saying it was the right call is just laughable.

  3. What I meant to say is if FSU runs the pick play at ND Stadium to score an apparent game-winning TD, it probably gets called back for PI. I say probably only because who knows what anti-ND bias is lurking around among the refs or their conferences.

  4. Think of it this way, Jerry. Same play, same result, at ND Stadium. Yes, it gets called too. Had that game been played at S. Bend no penalty is called. But in Tallahassee it gets called all night long. Like in real estate, location, location, location is everything.

  5. Think of it this way. Had it been the opposite do you think it would have
    been called on Florida State? Of course not!




    The interference call was spot-on. If you don’t understand that, then you’re either just a ND homer who believes ND never does anything wrong, and all the calls always go against ND, or you just don’t know jack squat about football. Let me guess — ND really beat Alabama in the title game a couple years ago, but the refs screwed them, eh?


    1. Jesse, we have a question for Jimbo fisher. Since his head is so far up Jameis’s ass what exactly does it taste and smell like up there?

  7. Every Notre Dame fan needs to watch the video in this article (and possibly find other angles at field level).

    Be sure to watch on Youtube at .25 speed, 720 HD res.

    Here’s a direct link to the Youtube video:

    It was not only blown coverage but a blown call from the same ref who threw the flag at Fuller #7 for PI. Robinson’s touchdown is confirmed by two refs who have a clearer line of sight of Prosise and Fuller than the ref who threw the flag.

    The ref who throws the flag is looking in the direction of PJ Williams as he is removing his helmet, a second after Robinson scores. Here’s a direct link to the screen shot showing the reverse angle:

    Earlier in the day, that same penalty was called:

    “They said they just missed it.” Brian Kelly

    If a penalty is called for PJ Williams taking his helmet off, it’s 1st-and-Goal from the 9 with 13 seconds left.


      1. Apparently the ACC conference said the penalty was on Procise as opposed to Fuller in covering their ass. The ACC conference also admitted that a penalty should have been called for removal of the helmet and said that would have given us a first down at the 9 yard line if enforced after the PI call with 13 seconds remaining or two plays left and maybe three. We were screwed.

  9. Reality is that is why it is called a home field advantage. There is no way that is called a penalty if roles are reversed and FSU has the ball. Hard to stomach but that is the reality. If we win out we will be in playoff and that is also a reality.

  10. mmmm,. jeff you just stole a them from tomorrow’s digest. In furtherance of your point, in the first half, ND outgained FSU 284-110. I got the heeby jeebies at halftime as we had not created a score gap commensurate with the yardage gap. But we’re close, very, very close…..

  11. Notre Dame ran 50 plays in the first half yet only managed to put 17 points on the board. Twice in the first half they went for it on 4th and short and came up empty due to poor execution. I give Kelly a lot of credit for being aggressive on 4th down. BK is usually a lot more conservative. Bottom line if you run 50 plays on a team in the first half you ought to be able to score more than 17. This Notre Dame team is really good and playing far better than any of us imagined before the season started especially the Defense. One thing that hasnt changed much are Special Teams. KR and PR still stinks.

  12. No, Bruce, it was a pick play. Not legal. No seminar needed. What’s worrisome is that BK admitted he didn’t know what a pick play is.

  13. Losers whine about referees.

    but Kelly is a genius.

    22 world class athletes, ball is snapped, they know every trick in the book, and the referees are supposed to get it right? really? How many of you whiners have ever reffed. Digger Phelps, however boneheaded he was about other things, would have his players each ref a scrimmage and coached the best players to yell at the “ref” so they would learn how it felt.
    Losers whine about referees.

    In ’74, UCLANS wanted to whine about Jamaal Wilkes hooking Dice Martin.
    I wouldn’t listen to it then and I don’t listen to loser/whiners now.

    In ’88, a Miami fan tried to shown me the paper with the Cleveland gary picture in it. I ripped it up, with extreme prejudice. And gave him a buck to buy another one for his own use. I wouldn’t listen to it then I don’t listen to losers/whiners now.

    No Notre Dame team has ever,ever lost a game because it made fewer mistakes than the referees. That’s just the way it is.

    But here’s why Kelly is a freakin’ genius.

    He immeditaely takes the burden off Prosise and Fuller. And if they’d maim for him before, they’ll kill for him now. and the other players notice.

    It gives the team an attitude going into the bye week.

    Remember Kelly thought about politics before devoting himself to coaching.

    He understands public opinion and its manipulation.

    He may look at the reporters but he’s really addressing the 13 member committee and telling them in no uncertain terms

    “listen up, we didn’t lose the game, it was larcenous zebras. If morality means anything, when you meet you will regard Notre Dame as either
    unbeaten or oneloss with a purloined asterisk, primus inter pares.

    He is one slick dude. And a great, GREAT football coach.

    1. Quick question PD If Winston is subsequently found guilty of accepting “renumeration” for signing autographs would that mean FSU forfeit games he has played in to date?? eg The reason Georgia is sitting Gurley I thought was to avoid that possibility until it is clarified if he did receive money. Your thoughts. Re the outcome of this game down here in Aust. they have a saying “Winners can laugh, losers can please themselves.” BK spot on when he says great teams don’t leave a game in the hands of officials at the end too often they may not like the outcome. Team looks 80% improved on one that lost to Bama. Still need more speed on special teams and in secondary. Would have liked to see Devonte Neal, Shaq Thompson, and Darby back there with Russell that would have put the “cat among the pigeons” mate. Cheers

    2. No whine, it was a bad call, otherwise the ACC wouldn’t have issued a statement. But that is the nature of a man made endeavor, playing games and overseeing them is such. Bad calls happen, it occurred at the worst time for ND. It meant a loss, no different if Robinson had dropped the pass. It happens, and it happened to us….

  14. How does every receiver know when the ball is in the air?
    Can a receiver block after some other receiver has caught the ball?
    This is worthy of a seminar.

    1. My understanding is its a ref’s judgment call: does the receiver making contact with the defender have any intent of being a receiver when the ball is in the air?
      So if Prosise or Fuller are looking back at the QB even if contact is made, chances are the ref doesn’t make the call. If BK runs that play in practice every day, here’s hoping he tells his players about it.
      Also, if EG keeps the ball and rolls out, keeping the run option open, #88 is still open, or can come back and block for EG. EG is not Tommy Rees- keep that run option open that close to the goal line, like we did two years ago in OT w/EG to defeat Pitt.

  15. Great improvement by the “O” line and Everett’s ball control last nite compared to the past few weeks. If you saw Lou Holtz this morning on the College Game Day recap he points out that the “controversial play” at the end of the game is called a “Pick” and it’s illegal and the Irish got away with it for the first TD last nite. Receivers cannot be blocking downfield when the ball is in the air. They have to be taught what defensive backs and linebackers have to be taught regarding downfield coverage… when the ball is in the air you gotta get your back to the opponent. If you’re a receiver you gotta turn and look to the QB to not get called for it. It’s called “Play The Ball…Not The Man”. I love college football and ND even more but the coaches have to get the message to the players to watch the opponents eyes and arms. When their eyes start to go wide open the ball is in the air. When their arms are coming up the ball is coming in and it’s time for the defender to turn and jump or if you’re on offense running a “Pick” to turn and start jumping to avoid “Laundry Being Tossed On The Field”. What a shame for the game to end the way it did and a more terrible place to learn a lesson is gameday. Maybe if Winston is found guilty in his investigation all his wins will be reversed just like last nite’s game ending TD. Keep The Faith…GO IRISH!

    1. Agreed, it is was a “pick” and was the right call. Both teams played really well. As a college football fan if that game had been FSU against anybody it would have been a great and entertaining game. With it being the Irish it was great and entertaining but I left it with an empty feeling being that close to the win.

      On the flip side I woke up this morning thinking about just how far Notre Dame has come under Brian Kelly. Even Kirk Herbstreit was talking about just how far the Irish have come in such a short time.

      It was a game that came down to making plays and the Irish came up just a few short.

      The Irish proved last night, even in a 4 point loss, that they are a big part of college football. With the youth on this team and the recruits coming in, ND will be a part of the conversation for quite some time.

      Oh and let’s not forge, the Irish put academic integrity and character ahead of winning and yet they still win!

  16. I don’t feel Felony U’s QB should on the field until all the charges against him were cleared up. The alleged Rape charge was swept under the rug in Dec 2013 & the other 4 charges seem to conveniently put off until after the game & future games at this point. Gurley of UGA was suspended for the rest of the season for Autograph infractions. What happened at Felony U ?

  17. Fsu was not outplayed if that was the case they would have lost. Also the refs let it slide the first time with the illegal blocks so you can say whatever it went both ways on the refs call. To me it was a excellent game an the better team won!

  18. My rule of thumb when it come to refs’ calls is would I agree with it if it had been called in my team’s favor. Had that same call been made in ND’s favor, you bet I would agree with it. In fact had it not been called I would be complaining. Sport fans are hypocritical when it comes to refs’ calls.

    I’ll say this about the refs. I saw a bunch of holding by FSU OL during the game but don’t recall too many calls.

  19. I think the official stole the game. He accused the head coach of an Irish catholic school of intentionally running an illegal play to win the national championship? The official must be related to ann coulter or glen beck, dilusional misfits. We was robbed!

      1. If the back judge was the one who didn’t make the call on the PI to Robinson, and did make the call against us on the pick, he was Pat Ryan, a former irish walk-on from Montana, who actually played for two years in games on special teams at ND, as posted under stats on When the flag was thrown, I thought it was on the defender taking his helmet off to yell at the ref. The ref’s response? Throw the flag at Prosise (or Fuller, still unclear who was flagged) and ignore the taking off of the helmet by the FSU defender (a personal foul uncalled) who was complaining to him. If the ref is that easily intimidated, no wonder he kept the flag in his pocket on the uncalled PI against Robinson two plays earlier. Regardless, don’t blame Fuller or Prosise. According to BK, they practice that play every day and he felt the execution of it by Prosise and Fuller were spot-on. If it was Ryan, he’s one walk-on from ND who won’t be having movies made about him, unless the Seminoles are the filmmakers.

      2. It might be a different Pat Ryan. I don’t think you are right on that. Is there any way to really tell. The Pat Ryan thought it was identified as one from Arlington, Virginia and he has a history of questionable calls against us from Tuitt’s ejection, to the 2013 Michigan game pass interference call on Bennett Jackson when he intercepted a pass.

    1. I was with you until you had to throw in Ann Coulter, Glen Beck. Please, I come here to talk ONLY ND football. Not all of us have you’re politix…

  20. The only stat that mattered is the point stat and ND was on the short end of it. There were many positives from the game to consider but now it will be interesting to see how they respond to the next game and whether or not the coaching staff can keep them up for it. Maybe start playing with a chip on your shoulder might help. As others pointed out, this was a game ND could have easily won. ND will get some respect back when they start winning more games like this, especially when not favored. This team isn’t in bad shape, but, could use a few more playmakers, especially on the D side (a speedy 4-3 DE and another elite/stud CB or Safety). It was a good game to watch as a fan.

    Go ND

  21. St. Michael,

    Good points all.

    ND was the better team for one half. Second half was much closer. The D needed one more stop. The O needed just one more play. It was that close.

    I’m OK with this recruiting class. But right now it’s a little light at CB and WR in terms of elite talent. These are 2 skill positions we need to upgrade to compete with the big boys game in and game out.

    I hope you’re right and Ishaaq and K. Russell return. Cody Riggs really was a blessing for the Irish to get.

    Golson will consider leaving only if ND wins the NC. As much as I’d like to think ND can win it all, I don’t see it this season. So I think it’s a no brainer and EG returns for a serious title run next season.

  22. SFR,

    Would you say the same if we walked away the winner? Notre Dame played an awesome game on both sides; sadly, FSU was not better but fortunate at the end. I did not walk away with the same impression regarding our wideouts or tight end. Fuller, Robinson, Brown, Procise are very impressive and Koyak is more than capable. Frankly, FSU had trouble with our wideouts and running game.

    Too slow? Maybe yes regarding our corners, but our overall team speed is light years from past teams. We were close many times at sacking Winston but they had the answer on several occasions. I am not sure many teams would have been as successful last night with our blitzing attack.

    Joe Schmidt is a great story and must deserve to be starting. I don’t know what constitutes a great athlete. Notre Dame has had many “great athletes” play linebacker and they were average or never got on the field due to injuries, etc. We have a few of them currently.

    The loss is bitter but, clearly, easily could have been an IRISH win.

    What has seemed to have improved is the play calling and manner in which the plays are being relayed to Golson. We seem to be prepared and poised.
    Your thoughts?

    1. Thanks for the input MMA. My thoughts would be pretty much the same even with a win. I think that Jaylon Smith and not Joe Schmidt needs to be the kind of ATH ND needs to recruit and develop.

      Koyack is ggod but not in the league of other recent ND TEs. The WRs are diverse with good skill sets. But ND needs that freakish WR.

      Great game. But ND needs to win those regularly again.

      GO IRISH!

    2. Too slow had nothing to do with pass coverage. Winston’s angles on the passes were perfect and Riggs has world class speed. No matter how fast a cornerback is if the pass is thrown timely and accurately it is tough to defend. That being said the refs shafted us.

  23. ND just needs more and better athletes. Joe Schmidt is a great story but not a great athlete. ND is a step too slow on D when facing top teams. On O the team is missing that great TE it’s had for years and a dominant WR like M. Floyd. The O line needs to get bigger and stronger but the raw talent is there.

    “pete”: If we’re a 43 D now, then you’re spot on. We don’t have the right DEs for that scheme. I think Ishaaq Williams might have flourished in BVG’s D. Sadly, we’ll never know.

    I keep on hearing how close ND is to getting back to the top. Arguably, the team is already there. But at some point it needs to prove that it’s truly all the way back. You do that by winning these types of games and doing so consistently. Close isn’t close enough. Moral victories don’t count. Enough of wait til next season.

    1. ND is getting more great athletes every week, according to recruiting sources.

      Joe Schmidt is a great MLB. BVG’s D’scheme was awesome- shutting down the run.
      Winston is a very accurate passer. Had BVG dropped the LBs into coverage, FSU team speed would not have been
      affected. We needed to outscore them and, except for the judgment of one ref, we did.
      Every young OL needs to get “bigger and stronger”, and this one has and will continue.
      BK did an excellent job of play calling- although I’d wish he let EG create even more by keeping him out of pocket where EG makes things happen.
      He’s 5’11. How many passes were knocked down or tipped at the LOS?
      Folston played an amazing game as well. Very few dropped passes.
      As for comparison of ND vs. FSU, the defending national champs and undefeated their last 22 games:
      Notre Dame out-gained Florida State, 470-323, recorded eight more first downs than the Seminoles and rushed for 157 yards – 107 more than Florida State – (so much for the need to establish a running game in modern football), while never trailing through the first 52:39. Notre Dame converted 7-of-18 on third down while Florida State was just 2-of-8. We also had 40 more yards passing than FSU.
      Don’t let your frustration color what you saw last night.
      Ishaq will be back- as will KeiVarae.
      What you better hope for is EG being back, because the NFL agents will be contacting him.
      This remains a young team and they will be even better in the future.
      What I saw shows we need not wait ’til next year- we outplayed and outscored FSU . . .
      First time I ever saw a winning team so thoroughly dominated not say one word about the opponent’s effort.
      It better highlights the FSU culture of win at any cost than anything else I could say.
      No surprise regarding the non-call when #88 was interfered with, and the phantom call when we scored.
      You expect that as an underdog and a visiting team. To win that game, we needed to have a two score lead late in the game so as to take the game out of the hands of the refs; and FSU was resilient enough and good enough not to let that happen.
      Moral victory? More like an immoral theft of a victory IMHO. ND was the better team last night, and outplayed an elite team on their home field. Anyone watching saw that.

      1. Regarding EGs return, if he didn’t jump ship last year to another school, it appears he’s committed getting a degree at ND, and returning for his last year. They’re all so close.

    2. I agree about Joe Schmidt. Great kid, great story but too unathletic to be a starting MLB if ND wants to contend for a Nat’l Championship. We saw it when he blitzed and went unblocked towards Winston and was a step slow. He can be a liability in games like this. That said, he’s still better than Calabrese.

      1. Schmidt’s not the reason ND lost. Great kid and leader. If this game doesn’t clue you into the fact that Kelly has been closing the talent gap with top level competition then nothing will. Fl St has top level talent like Alabama. They barely survived by a call

      2. Agreed. Now time to translate all that putative talent into big wins in big games against big-time teams. Talent is meaningless if it doesn’t win games and ultimately titles.

        Go Irish!

      3. I agree. I thought this was his best game of the season. I also agree that the talent gap has narrowed. You’ve proved the validity of my statement. Despite the narrowing of the talent gap, ND biggest gap in talent is at MLB. It’s because of the talent gap narrowing that the talent gap sticks out at MLB. He’s the Tommy Rees of the defense. Either him or Austin Collinsworth.

      4. Joe was not too slow, he just needed to get his hands up into Winston’s face. He came in too low.

      5. Patrick,

        It’s both. He was a step slow and also too low. But he’s a gutsy player who gets every inch out of his abilities. He’s certainly better than most of other ILBs of late not called Jaylon or Manti.

    3. We had enough athletes the refs just were inconsistent applying flags and nonexistent when our dlinemen were getting held.

  24. We almost had it until the 12th man through a flag, where was the flag when Robinson was interfered with in the end zone two plays earlier

    1. Agree…the commentator said it was good defense on the Robinson no call in the end zone two plays before the final bad call. The FL State defender had his hands all over Robinson arms while the ball was in the air, and he never looked back until the mugging was over.

      As far as the pick play, Fl State had no answers on how to defend the tips flood pattern. They had their defenders trying to match up man by not letting Prosice off the line of scrimmage by jamming him when the ball was snapped. Prosice has the right to move vertically into the end zone with out the Fl State defender holding him as he did. Prosice was also looking back inside to the ball as he drove up field. A good indication that he knew he could become a target if His defender left to cover the flat.

      The Robinson non interference call should have been a no brainner. The interference called on Procise/Fuller was made by a ref with no brains.

      ND got penalized because FL State did not know how to defend the combination route, by switching off the receivers in a combination of man and zone defense.

      I am proud of how this young team played.

      1. Yeah what a joke. So inconsistent and incorrect. Also Riggs was called for holding on a pass that was clearly non catchable because the ref could not call interference.

  25. I’m 58 years old and have been following Notre Dame since 1964. I have 2 nieces who graduated from Florida State and they razz me all the time about Notre Dame. The game last night was very disappointing and heartbreaking. The big thing now is how does Notre Dame respond. Still 5 tough games ahead. A couple of observations. earlier this week one of the Notre Dame writers felt this was going to be the game Notre Dame really missed Russell. I agree- Green owned 36 not sure who that is but he was beaten numerous times. Also Notre Dame I feel is missing a speed pass rushing defensive end or 2. When they could not get pressure on Winston with their front four and had to blitz they were scorched in the second half. Oh, well life goes on.

    1. He did not own 36. The angles on the passes would have been impossible for anyone to cover. If anybody was beaten by giving too much space it was Riggs.

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