College Game of the Week: Fighting Irish @ Seminoles

Notre Dame and Florida State feature in this week's #PFFGoesToCollege choice for 'Game of the Week'. Ben Stockwell has the highlights and full grades are posted on Page 2.

| 3 years ago

College Game of the Week: Fighting Irish @ Seminoles


As we reach the halfway mark in the college season #PFFGoesToCollege this week takes in one of the biggest games of the season down in Tallahassee. The Fighting Irish came to town to face Seminoles in a battle of two unbeaten teams and a pivotal matchup in the hunt for a berth in the inaugural college football playoff.

It was the Seminoles who kept their unbeaten streak going, overcoming a spirited late comeback attempt from the Fighting Irish as Florida State recorded what will likely be their signature win on their playoff résumé. Notre Dame, instead, will be left to wonder what might have been and hope for help as they now look to get back in to the playoff field as a one-loss team the rest of the way.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Performances of Note

Corey Robinson, WR: +1.0

Breakdown: Having scored only three career touchdowns prior to last night’s game, Robinson almost matched that at Doak Campbell Stadium, only denied his third by a correct call for pass interference to get him open for what would have been the winning score. Prior to that, Robinson was a handful for P.J. Williams in particular, collecting three catches for 36 yards into his coverage with the only incompletion Robinson’s sole drop in the game.

Signature Play: Gave the Fighting Irish their second lead of the game with 12:06 remaining in the second quarter, exploiting a coverage bust on a corner route to the back left corner of the end zone and doing a nice job to get both feet down in bounds for the score.

Jarron Jones, DT: +0.8

Breakdown: Impressive from the outset list night Jones was a key figure in the Seminoles’ struggles to run the ball early in the game. Jones finished the game with five stops but slowed later in the game, particularly in the final 20 minutes where he seemed to wear down and wasn’t as effective as he had been.

Signature Play: Started the drive after Robinson’s second score (Q2, 11:53) by driving back Florida State’s center Ryan Hoefeld to scythe down Dalvin Cook for a loss.

Tarean Folston, RB: +1.7

Breakdown: The Fighting Irish did not share the struggles of the Seminoles on the ground as Folston consistently found creases in Florida State’s front seven. His regular gains on the ground provided the underlying rhythm for the Notre Dame offense, feeding off of solid ground work from his offensive line with yards after contact. A rare let down came in pass protection where he surrendered a third-down sack late in the game.

Signature Stat: Folston forced seven missed tackles last night and averaged 6.9 yards per carry on eight carries through the A-gaps.

Florida State Seminoles – Performances of Note

Jameis Winston, QB: +2.3

Breakdown: Bouncing back from a dire interception early in the second quarter, Winston led the Seminoles back to yet another win not allowing that misjudgment to snowball into further mistakes. There was nothing magic from Winston here but after that play he turned in a game with very few misses, managing Florida State down the field exploiting the holes that the Fighting Irish defense gave him.

Signature Stat: But for his interception Winston commanded the intermediate throws, going 10-of-12 for 163 yards and a touchdown outside of his ill-advised pick.

Jalen Ramsey, CB: +1.3

Breakdown: His work in run defense was suspect at times (-1.3) but Ramsey was ever present in the passing game, making his mark both in coverage and as a pass rusher. Involved in the coverage bust for Corey Robinson’s second touchdown, Ramsey also got his hands to three passes breaking up one intended for C.J. Prosise and snagging two batted passes on his 13 blitzes.

Signature Play: Also collected three hurries on his forays after Everett Golson; the most important of those coming on Notre Dame’s final play, hitting Golson’s arm he threw to divert the pass to the back of the end zone, clinching the victory in the process.

Rashad Greene, WR: +1.7

Breakdown: A perfect 8-for-8 last night as Greene hauled in every pass that Winston fired in his direction in his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season. Though he popped up on both sides of the field to make catches, Greene did most of his work down the middle collecting 79 yards on four catches between the numbers more than 10 yards downfield.

Signature Play: That included his touchdown ghosting in behind a Notre Dame blitz, boxing out RCB Cole Luke to bring the Seminoles level at 17-17.

PFF Game Ball

In a losing effort Tarean Folston was the game’s most consistent performer, making the most of his offensive line’s control in the trenches to take the game to the Seminoles on the ground in an incisive display.


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben


For full Notre Dame and Florida State player grades, click over to Page 2…

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Mike

    It was not the correct call…unless the refs just decided to ignore it 10+ times in the Denver/San Fran game tonight.

    • Dohkay

      It was very clear that BOTH WRs were not running routes and were simply blocking before the pass was thrown. What’s funny is that they didn’t have to because FSU blew the coverage and wouldn’t have had anyone there even if they didn’t block them. Good call by the refs but FSU was lucky.

    • Mikey Balls

      You’re right Denver runs it all the time, you what the difference is though? Denver’s receivers actually look for the ball…ND’s did not.