FSU Depth Chart vs. Jacksonville State: Few minor tweaks from Game 1

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247Sports 07 September, 2021 - 12:09pm 6 views

What was Mckenzie Milton injury?

Milton suffered artery and nerve damage, as well as a dislocated knee and torn ligaments, when he was injured as the UCF starting quarterback against South Florida in late November 2018. His leg was nearly amputated as a result. espn.comFlorida State's McKenzie Milton leads 4th-quarter TD drive in first game action since devastating leg injury

Why is Mckenzie Milton not playing?

He suffered a setback in July 2019 when he got an infection, which required another surgery and prolonged his recovery an additional six months. Milton was finally able to return to play in October 2020; he was listed on UCF's roster, but did not play a game. Sporting NewsWhat happened to McKenzie Milton? Quarterback returns to football after career-threatening knee injury

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The Seminoles still list co-starters at quarterback, with Jordan Travis and McKenzie Milton each bolded -- signifying a starting position -- and an "OR" listed between their two names.

Some of the minor changes include:

- Running back D.J. Williams is no longer listed as a reserve at tailback along with Ja'Khi Douglas, as he was last week. Williams was unavailable against the Fighting Irish.

- Center is now an "OR" situation with Maurice Smith and Baveon Johnson listed as co-starters. Smith started against Notre Dame, but was pulled before the half and unable to compete any further. He is dealing with a lingering injury.

- There are no changes on defense or special teams.

The full depth chart is listed below:

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Effectiveness of Jordan Travis and McKenzie Milton could give FSU two-headed monster at QB

Rivals.com - Florida State 08 September, 2021 - 12:10am

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and team take the field for the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One against the Alabama Crimson Tide at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The second AP Poll of the season is officially out, and it has the Irish ranked 8th in the country. This comes after Notre Dame football was ranked 9th in the initial preseason AP Poll, meaning they moved up one spot in the polls following a tight road win over Florida State.

This means that for all the talk that was going on about how Notre Dame football might be exposed against a down Seminoles team, it seems to have been overblown. At the very least, other teams got exposed worse than Notre Dame did.

That number 8 spot is about where Notre Dame should continue to sit, for the time being. This is a team with some major issues that it needs to work on, particularly on the offensive line and against the run on defense. Still, the Irish won, and you can hardly drop a team after a win.

That’s before you consider that Jack Coan looked great, the wide receivers were better than they’ve been in years, and Kyle Hamilton is still the best defensive back in America. So, no, this isn’t an elite team, but they are a great team that is right to have extremely high expectations after Week 1 for the rest of the year.

Other notable bits of movement for Notre Dame include North Carolina, who fell all the way to 24 after their abysmal start to the season at Virginia Tech. If the Tar Heels don’t turn things around, one of the biggest games on Notre Dame’s schedule is going to be a laugher.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin, who struggled on offense in a loss to Penn State, fell all the way to 18. In either case, both of those games won’t look as challenging as they did before the season. Two of Notre Dame’s future opponents did move up in the poll after big wins. USC and Cincinnati are now 14th and Cincinnati is ahead of Notre Dame at 7th.

That makes these the two premier games of this season, as of right now.

The question with the AP Poll is always going to be with how valuable it is as a tool in the modern game. After all, it’s not even the poll that is currently used to determine who goes to the College Football Playoff. This means that by the end of the season it’s almost irrelevant. However, it is worth pointing out that the ranked wins that come from being ranked in the AP Poll are used by the initial College Football Playoff rankings to determine a top-25.

It is not debatable the historic relevance of the AP Poll, which used to be the standard way to determine a national champion. If you’re looking into college football’s long history, for most of it the best way to understand the general thought about who was best at the time is through the lens of the AP Poll. That makes it a great tool that should never die.

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Analysis: Five plays that defined Notre Dame's 41-38 overtime victory at Florida State

Notre Dame Insider 06 September, 2021 - 03:42am

Hamilton covered the last 20 yards from the near hash marks to the sideline while the pass was in the air. Without Hamilton’s heroics, the pass should be completed to running back Jashaun Corbin, who was wide open after running by defensive end Justin Ademilola and cornerback Cam Hart, for a big gain and quite possibly a touchdown. 

But this new feature in the South Bend Tribune isn’t meant to identify the most incredible plays. The goal is to underline the game’s five defining plays.  

The Kevin Austin Jr. who repeatedly made plays in Notre Dame practices finally showed up in a game after a two-year absence from suspension and injuries. 

Three plays after the senior wide receiver started the drive with a 29-yard reception from quarterback Jack Coan, Austin beat cornerback Travis Jay deep for a 37-yard touchdown on third-and-1. Coan looked Austin’s way immediately at the snap and lofted a perfectly placed ball deep enough for Austin to run underneath it and outside enough for Jay to be stuck in a defenseless position. 

“He basically had a one-on-one opportunity,” Coan said of Austin. “I always trust Kevin to get over the top on that. I trusted him and he made a great play.” 

The passing game carried the night for Notre Dame’s offense. Coan finished 26-of-35 passing (74.3%) for 366 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Austin caught four of those passes for 91 yards and the touchdown that sparked a third-quarter surge of 21 points. 

Notre Dame’s defensive front put pressure on Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis all night. He was sacked four times, but even more often he was able to scramble away from pressure to extend the play. 

That’s exactly what he did early in the fourth quarter to complete an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Parchment. On third-and-goal, Travis sprinted to his left looking to make a quick throw, but he decided against letting it rip. 

Travis put enough heat on the pass to prevent Hart from making a play on the ball through Parchment. 

“He’s probably one of the shiftier players we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Hamilton said of Travis, who finished 9-of-19 passing (47.4%) for 130 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Travis also rushed for nine net yards (40 gained and 31 lost) with a two-yard rushing touchdown. 

Milton, who needed nearly three years to recover from a gruesome knee injury at UCF in late 2018, showed little rust in his return to game action. The graduate transfer completed a 22-yard pass on his first play, but the most important throw came later in the drive.  

Facing third-and-11 at Notre Dame’s 20-yard line, Milton delivered a 15-yard completion to wide receiver Keyshawn Helton. Defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola brought pressure in Milton’s face, but he stood in the pocket, let the pass go before Ademilola could hit him and put the ball high enough to float over leaping linebacker Bo Bauer. 

Helton caught the pass in front of cornerback TaRiq Bracy to set up a two-yard touchdown run for running back Treshaun Ward. The Seminoles cut Notre Dame’s lead to 38-35 with 5:36 left and seemed to be aligning a storybook ending for Milton. 

Notre Dame had a chance to ice the game away with a three-point lead, possession with 5:36 remaining and a five-yard gift when defensive tackle Robert Cooper was flagged for being offside. 

But a first-and-5 ended with a fourth-and-11 when Coan was sacked by defensive end Keir Thomas on third-and-4. Notre Dame abandoned the run following a one-yard gain for running back Kyren Williams on first down. Tight end Michael Mayer dropped a pass from Coan on second down. Then Coan was overwhelmed on third down. 

Coan dropped back with the pocket collapsing around him. Hoping to escape, he tried to scramble left just as Thomas broke free from left tackle Michael Carmody, who replaced an injured Blake Fisher. Thomas engulfed Coan for the sack and forced the Irish to punt with a little more than four minutes remaining in regulation. 

“We were first-and 5. They get an offside. We have to convert that,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. “We had two opportunities. Now, our eyes were in the wrong place. We were running double slants on the back side, and Jack misread the coverage and there's some growing pains there. We just didn't execute the way we needed to late in the game.  

“We'll take that and have to build off some of those things. We were still committed to the run. We just need to be better at it. We just weren't as good at running the football tonight that we need to be. You're not going to get by running for 65 yards. That's not good enough." 

A game littered with big plays came down to the kickers. 

Notre Dame’s Jonathan Doerer won the battle by drilling a 41-yard field goal to end the first overtime and give the Irish a 41-38 victory. 

Doerer didn’t let a Florida State timeout prior to the attempt to change the outcome. The same couldn’t be said for Florida State kicker Ryan Fitzgerald. The Seminoles ended their overtime possession with Fitzgerald missing a 37-yard attempt wide left.  

Florida State essentially iced Fitzgerald by calling timeout to challenge the ruling of a Milton fumble on third down. But the timeout came so close to the start of the play, the snap was made and Fitzgerald hit a 50-yard attempt that didn’t count. 

Milton’s play was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass to move Fitzgerald 13 yards closer, but it didn’t help. 

Both Doerer and Fitzgerald made their only field goal attempts in regulation: Doerer hit a 48-yarder in the second quarter and Fitzgerald tied the game at 38 with a 43-yard make with 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. 

“@JDoerer_11 stepped up in a big moment tonight and made the game winner,” ND special teams coordinator Brian Polian tweeted after the game. “I am so proud of him for preserving through some hard times. He prepared himself for this moment.” 

Doerer struggled at the end of the 2020 season. He missed five of his final nine field goal attempts in the last five games. 

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