Tampa Bay Sports Day

FSU: Seminoles Fall To Irish In South Bend, 42-13

Photo by Ross Obley/FSU

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In 2003, the Florida State football team went to Notre Dame and dealt the Fighting Irish a humbling, lopsided defeat.

Fifteen years later, the Irish finally returned the favor.

Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Brandon Wimbush added three scores through the air as the Fighting Irish cruised to an 42-13 victory on a below-freezing night at Notre Dame Stadium.

Williams is the first running back to run for 200 yards against Florida State since 1982. And his effort overshadowed an otherwise encouraging effort from FSU’s Cam Akers, who had his best game in a month with two touchdowns and 63 yards on 12 carries.

Notre Dame’s victory is just its third in nine tries against Florida State.

The Seminoles entered the game with a .714 winning percentage against the Irish, the highest ever for an opponent to face Notre Dame at least five times.

At 4-6 with two games to play, FSU now has no wiggle room in its quest to reach a bowl game for the 37th consecutive season.

The Seminoles must beat No. 17 Boston College and No. 15 Florida – both games to be played at Doak Campbell Stadium – to play in the postseason.

Making his return to the lineup after missing last week’s game due to injury, FSU quarterback Deondre Francois completed 33-of-47 passes for 216 yards and an interception.

Florida State’s defense, meanwhile, struggled in its efforts to pressure a quarterback making his first start in more than a month.

Wimbush, a senior starting in place of the injured Ian Book, completed just 48-percent of his passes but wasn’t sacked and was hurried just twice.

Florida State’s pass rush, among the best in the country a month ago, has gone three consecutive games without a sack.

The Seminoles did, however, pick off two of Wimbush’s passes – one each for Stanford Samuels III and Dontavious Jackson – which they converted into 10 of their 13 points.

For FSU fans looking for signs of improvement beyond the scoreboard, Saturday night’s turnover margin could be considered a step in the right direction. The Seminoles finished even in that category for the first time in three games.