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Backup QB Wimbush, defense help No. 3 Irish dominate FSU

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Just what third-ranked Notre Dame doesn't need going into its final two regular-season games: A quarterback controversy created by its coach.

''We want a full-blow controversy, front-page news,'' Brian Kelly said with tongue firmly planted in cheek after watching senior backup Brandon Wimbush's three-touchdown performance in a 42-13 victory over Florida State on Senior Night in frosty Notre Dame Stadium.

Wimbush, who led the Irish to their first three victories, got the start in place of injured junior Ian Book, who suffered a rib injury last week against Northwestern and is expected to be cleared to play next Saturday at Yankee Stadium when the Irish (10-0, No. 3 CFP) play No. 13 Syracuse.

Wimbush finished 12 of 25 for 130 yards with the scoring passes to fellow seniors - a 3-yarder to wide receiver Miles Boykin and 6- and 15-yard tosses to tight end Alize Mack.

''It was really emotional,'' Wimbush said. ''The six weeks were tough, but they were inspiring. The first half was one of the best I think the team has had. It felt natural. We got off to a great start.''

Fellow senior Dexter Williams ran for a career-high 202 yards and Notre Dame's defense came up with two first-quarter turnovers by the Seminoles (4-6).

Kelly admitted it would be tough not to go back to Book, who leads the nation in completion percentage (74.5) and is sixth in passing efficiency (170.0) while passing for 1,811 and 14 touchdowns since taking over in week four.

''When the doctor says he's cleared to go,'' Kelly said after being asked when Book would reclaim his starting role. But he didn't want to diminish Wimbush's performance.

''Brandon wants to win for Notre Dame, for his teammates,'' Kelly said. ''He's been that way whether in a starting role or as a backup. He led our football team when we needed him. It's not an individual game but he had a big hand in it.''

With the temperature at 27 degrees - the third-coldest game at Notre Dame Stadium since the 1980 season - the Irish wore green jerseys for the fourth time in Kelly's nine-year tenure at Notre Dame to honor their seniors.

Williams, who sat out the first four games of his senior season because of a university-imposed suspension, piled up the 202 yards on 20 carries, including TD runs of 58 and 32 yards, as Notre Dame outgained Florida State, 495-322, including 365 on the ground.

''The offensive line came out with the fight,'' Williams said. ''I told them to keep pushing and I'm going to do what I have to do. I just told them to give me a crease and I would make a couple runs for them.''

Wimbush, however, did throw a pair of second-half interceptions that allowed coach Willie Taggart's Seminoles (4-6) to stay around after the Irish had taken a 32-6 halftime lead.

''We wanted to start fast,'' Taggart said. ''We made mistakes. Against a good football team, you can't do that. We're not stopping the run. It hurts you mentally.''

Cam Akers had two touchdown runs for Florida State, his second on a 7-yard run following Stanford Samuels' interception early in the third quarter.

But Notre Dame's defense denied points after Dontavious Jackson's third-quarter theft when senior Drue Tranquill and junior Khalid Kareem made stops after the Seminoles had reached the Irish 1. On fourth down, quarterback Deondre Francois (23-47, 216 yards) threw incomplete.

The Seminoles, who practiced in summer-like conditions in Tallahassee before flying into wintry South Bend, saw Francois' second pass of the game intercepted by senior Nick Coleman and Akers' fumble recovered by junior Daelin Hayes. The Irish converted them into 10 points while taking a 17-0 first-quarter lead.

TAKEAWAYS

Florida State: The Seminoles were their own worst enemy in the first half, surrendering 10 points after a pair of turnovers in the first quarter and another two points on Julian Love's return of a blocked conversion attempt in the second quarter. FSU's defense, which entered the game allowing just 111.1 yards per game (17th nationally), surrendered 141 yards in the first 30 minutes, 58 on Williams' touchdown run.

''Mental toughness, discipline and execution,'' Taggart said. ''We didn't execute when we had the chance. On defense, we gave up too many explosive plays.''

''You can't spot good teams like that points,'' running back Jacques Patrick said.

Notre Dame: Notre Dame's tall senior receivers dominated the banged-up Florida State secondary with three acrobatic TD catches in the first half. First, the 6-foot-4 Boykin outleaped his defender on a nicely thrown Wimbush pass. Later, the 6-foot-4 3/4 Mack kept one foot inbounds to give the Irish a 14-0 lead and then outleaped an FSU defender for a 15-yard TD in the second quarter that sent the Irish in at halftime up 32-6.

DEFENSE SALUTES WIMBUSH

Wimbush threw just one touchdown pass and had four interceptions while leading the Irish to a 3-0 start before Kelly and offensive coordinator Chip Long opted to change to Book.

''If any of you guys know Brandon, he's a high-quality guy,'' defensive end Daelin Hayes said. ''We as a defense wanted to emphasize that we had his back.''

Standing on the sideline while Book and the offense took off didn't faze Wimbush.

''It gave me a different perspective,'' he said. ''I was here to support the team however I could.''

IN THE RUNNING

With Williams running for a career-high of 202 yards on 20 carries and touchdown runs of 58 and 32, the Irish exploded for a season-high 365. Their previous high was 272 against Stanford.

''This team has a lot of grit,'' Williams said. ''People have their opinions about us, but we know what we can do and we just have to continue to trust the process each and every game.''

Notre Dame, which entered the game averaging 181.0 yards rushing (53rd nationally), did not lose yardage on any of its 50 carries and it helped the Irish win the time of possession, 32-28 minutes. Notre Dame was also 9 of 16 on third-down conversions.

Wimbush's quick feet accounted for 68 yards on 12 carries, while Jafar Armstrong added 44 on seven rushes and Tony Jones Jr. scooted for 39 on six.

IRISH 4-0 IN GREEN

It was Senior Night for the Irish, who came out in Kelly (pun intended) Green tops with blue numbers outlined in gold.

It's the fourth time during Kelly's nine seasons that the team has been in a shade of green. The Irish wore hunter-green jerseys against Army in Yankee Stadium during Kelly's inaugural season in 2010 (and won 27-3); wore all-green uniforms with blue and gold stripes against Boston College at Fenway Park in 2015 (and won 16-13); and wore an olive-green jersey against Army at the Alamodome in 2016 (and won 44-6).

Prior to 1964, Notre Dame often wore green jerseys. Coach Dan Devine's 1977 team, quarterbacked by Joe Montana, came out in green jerseys after wearing blue tops in pregame warmups and then routed USC, 49-19. Notre Dame stayed in green afterward in its march to the national championship that season.

UP NEXT

Florida State: Saturday at home against No. 17 Boston College.

Notre Dame: Saturday at Yankee Stadium as the home team against No. 13 Syracuse.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 13:10
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
13
40
Touchdown 13:17
2-D.Williams runs 32 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
97
yds
03:27
pos
13
39
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 10:45
19-J.Yoon 35 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
62
yds
02:50
pos
13
33
Point After TD 13:35
23-R.Aguayo extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
13
30
Touchdown 13:37
3-C.Akers runs 7 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
30
yds
00:49
pos
12
30
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 6:18
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
6
30
Touchdown 6:24
7-B.Wimbush complete to 86-A.Mack. 86-A.Mack runs 15 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
67
yds
01:49
pos
6
29
Missed Point After Touchdown 11:37
19-J.Yoon extra point is no good.
plays
yds
pos
6
23
Touchdown 11:43
2-D.Williams runs 58 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
75
yds
1:09
pos
6
25
Defensive Conversion 13:17
23-R.Aguayo extra point is no good. blocked by 99-J.Tillery. 27-J.Love to FSU End Zone for 93 yards. Conversion is good
plays
yds
pos
6
19
Touchdown 13:23
3-C.Akers runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
19
plays
75
yds
05:37
pos
6
17
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 6:04
19-J.Yoon 26 yards Field Goal is Good.
3
plays
6
yds
00:41
pos
0
17
Point After TD 6:51
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
14
Touchdown 6:57
7-B.Wimbush complete to 86-A.Mack. 86-A.Mack runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
16
plays
121
yds
05:09
pos
0
13
Point After TD 13:45
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 13:50
7-B.Wimbush complete to 81-M.Boykin. 81-M.Boykin runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
3
yds
00:38
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 20 24
Rushing 6 15
Passing 11 8
Penalty 3 1
3rd Down Conv 6-17 9-16
4th Down Conv 3-6 0-0
Total Net Yards 316 495
Total Plays 78 75
Avg Gain 4.1 6.6
Net Yards Rushing 106 365
Rush Attempts 30 50
Avg Rush Yards 3.5 7.3
Net Yards Passing 210 130
Comp. - Att. 23-48 12-25
Yards Per Pass 4.4 5.2
Sacked - Yards Lost 1-6 0-0
Penalties - Yards 5-35 8-74
Touchdowns 2 5
Rushing TDs 2 2
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles - Lost 2-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 1 2
Punts - Avg 4-39.8 2-39.0
Return Yards 77 55
Punts - Returns 0-0 1-28
Kickoffs - Returns 3-62 0-0
Int. - Returns 2-15 1-27
Kicking 1/1 6/7
Extra Points 1/1 4/5
Field Goals 0/0 2/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Florida State 4-6 067013
3 Notre Dame 10-0 17153742
210 PASS YDS 130
106 RUSH YDS 365
316 TOTAL YDS 495
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Francois 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
48.9% 216 0 1 83.3
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
59.1% 2255 13 8 125.1
D. Francois 23/47 216 0 1
C. Akers 3 RB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
C. Akers 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
C. Akers 3 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 63 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
134 559 5
C. Akers 12 63 2 19
J. Patrick 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 53 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
90 304 1
J. Patrick 16 53 0 11
D. Francois 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
57 -51 2
D. Francois 2 -10 0 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
N. Murray 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 79 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
48 650 3
N. Murray 6 79 0 40
T. Terry 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 49 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
29 554 7
T. Terry 6 49 0 10
K. Gavin 89 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 46 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
26 415 1
K. Gavin 3 46 0 19
D. Matthews 29 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 31 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
36 337 1
D. Matthews 4 31 0 14
G. Campbell 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 42 0
G. Campbell 2 6 0 4
J. Patrick 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 102 1
J. Patrick 1 3 0 3
T. McKitty 6 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
24 246 2
T. McKitty 1 2 0 2
O. Wilson 80 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 35 0
O. Wilson 0 0 0 0
D. Francois 12 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Francois 0 0 0 0
C. Akers 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
21 127 1
C. Akers 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
D. Jackson 5 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
11-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-0 1 0.0
D. Jackson 11-0 0.0 1
C. Fagan 24 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
C. Fagan 6-1 0.0 0
J. Kaindoh 13 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
J. Kaindoh 5-0 0.0 0
J. Woodbey 20 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
J. Woodbey 5-0 0.0 0
L. Warner III 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
L. Warner III 5-0 0.0 0
B. Burns 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
B. Burns 4-3 0.0 0
A. Westbrook 19 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 2 0.0
A. Westbrook 4-1 0.0 0
S. Samuels III 8 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 3 0.0
S. Samuels III 4-1 0.0 1
D. Christmas 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
D. Christmas 2-0 0.0 0
D. Brooks 28 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
D. Brooks 2-0 0.0 0
K. Meyers 14 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 2 0.0
K. Meyers 2-0 0.0 0
M. Wilson 21 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Wilson 1-0 0.0 0
Z. White 27 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
Z. White 1-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Aguayo 23 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 1/1
SEASON FG XP
8/13 27/27
R. Aguayo 0/0 0 1/1 1
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
L. Tyler 21 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 39.8 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
67 42.7 2
L. Tyler 4 39.8 2 46
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Helton 20 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 21.0 31 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 21.8 31 0
K. Helton 2 21.0 31 0
Z. White 27 LB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 20.0 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 20.0 20 0
Z. White 1 20.0 20 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
B. Wimbush 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
48% 130 3 2 115.3
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
53.5% 719 4 6 114.5
B. Wimbush 12/25 130 3 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Williams 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
20 202 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
113 770 10
D. Williams 20 202 2 58
B. Wimbush 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 68 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
64 212 1
B. Wimbush 12 68 0 17
J. Armstrong 8 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 44 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
67 359 6
J. Armstrong 7 44 0 22
T. Jones Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 39 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
74 367 3
T. Jones Jr. 6 39 0 16
A. Davis 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
22 70 0
A. Davis 4 10 0 5
P. Jurkovec 15 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 9 0
P. Jurkovec 1 2 0 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 59 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
36 442 1
C. Finke 4 59 0 21
M. Boykin 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 30 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
44 654 8
M. Boykin 4 30 1 14
A. Mack 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 29 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
30 279 3
A. Mack 3 29 2 15
C. Claypool 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
37 460 3
C. Claypool 1 12 0 12
C. Kmet 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 134 0
C. Kmet 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
A. Gilman 11 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-1 0 0.0
A. Gilman 8-1 0.0 0
J. Love 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
J. Love 7-1 0.0 0
T. Coney 4 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 1 0.0
T. Coney 6-1 0.0 0
D. Tranquill 23 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.5
D. Tranquill 6-1 0.5 0
K. Kareem 53 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
K. Kareem 4-0 0.0 0
T. Bracy 35 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
T. Bracy 3-1 0.0 0
Ja. Ademilola 57 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
Ja. Ademilola 3-0 0.0 0
J. Elliott 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 3 0.0
J. Elliott 3-1 0.0 0
A. Ogundeji 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Ogundeji 2-0 0.0 0
T. Pride Jr. 5 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 2 0.0
T. Pride Jr. 2-0 0.0 0
D. Hayes 9 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.5
D. Hayes 1-1 0.5 0
N. Coleman 24 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
N. Coleman 1-0 0.0 1
J. Okwara 42 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
J. Okwara 1-0 0.0 0
J. Bonner 55 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Bonner 1-0 0.0 0
K. Hinish 41 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Hinish 1-0 0.0 0
D. Vaughn 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Vaughn 1-0 0.0 0
A. Bilal 22 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
A. Bilal 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Yoon 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 4/5
SEASON FG XP
12/16 35/36
J. Yoon 2/2 35 4/5 10
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Newsome 85 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 39.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
37 44.9 1
T. Newsome 2 39.0 1 44
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 28.0 28 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 10.4 28 0
C. Finke 1 28.0 28 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 ND 35 0:00 3 62 INT
13:45 ND 35 1:32 4 0 Punt
6:51 ND 35 0:00 2 -21 Fumble
5:58 ND 35 5:37 19 75 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:37 ND 35 3:19 11 32 Downs
6:18 ND 35 1:18 6 18 Punt
1:48 FSU 19 1:16 8 46 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:26 ND 30 0:49 4 30 TD
10:13 ND 35 1:02 6 10 Punt
8:10 ND 48 3:45 12 45 Downs
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:10 ND 35 0:45 4 2 Punt
10:21 FSU 21 3:27 16 57 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:28 FSU 3 0:38 2 3 TD
12:06 ND 19 5:09 16 81 TD
6:45 FSU 14 0:41 3 6 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:17 FSU 35 1:34 6 75 TD
8:13 ND 33 1:49 6 67 TD
4:56 ND 7 3:02 8 30 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:05 FSU 35 0:00 4 35 INT
13:35 FSU 35 2:50 9 57 FG
9:05 ND 46 0:28 3 6 INT
3:45 ND 3 3:27 12 97 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:21 ND 36 1:15 3 9 Punt
6:54 ND 3 5:47 11 51