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Rapid reaction: Notre Dame 17, Florida State 10

| Saturday, October 18, 2014

Run, Folston, run.

Notre Dame needed to start fast and strong, and although it took a couple drives, the Irish turned in a first-half statement.

Sophomore running back Tarean Folston looked like the back he promised to be at the end of last season as Notre Dame ran heavily at Florida State in the first half.

Folston was quick-footed and physical as he darted and plowed his way through the Seminoles defense on his way to setting up both Irish touchdowns.

On the third Irish drive of the game, five Folston carries drove Notre Dame from its own 16 to the Florida State 32. The Irish scored the first points of the game on a pass from senior quarterback Everett Golson to sophomore receiver Corey Robinson.

The Seminoles run game, on the other hand, wasn’t rolling. Florida State tallied two rushing yards in the first quarter and 17 in the second.

Notre Dame’s defense also contained Seminoles redshirt sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston for much of the first quarter. Facing a momentum shift after Florida State intercepted Golson, Irish senior linebacker Joe Schmidt intercepted Winston on the very next play. Junior defensive lineman Jarron Jones hustled Winston back towards his own end zone, and Schmidt snagged the off-balance throw. The resulting Irish touchdown, on another pass from Golson to Robinson, increased Notre Dame’s lead to 14-7.

The Irish defense looked the shakiest on Florida State’s third drive of the game. Seminoles senior receiver Rashad Greene started finding gaping spaces and turned them into 22-yard and 33-yard gains that must have left the Irish kicking themselves. Florida State proceeded to score on a pass from Winston to freshman receiver Travis Rudolph that tripped up senior safety Matthias Farley.

Golson’s interception extended his streak of games with a turnover but otherwise played sharp. A couple of passes looked dangerous, with the Seminoles defense getting its hands on the ball, but Golson’s aggressive decisions left the Irish with a 17-10 lead at halftime.

Best of the first half: Tarean Folston, Joe Schmidt

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