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The Sunday night matchup between two storied programs, Notre Dame and Florida State, lived up to all the hype. While the game itself gave fans plenty of excitement, two other storylines from the game have generated even more conversation.
First, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly had an interesting way of congratulating his team for a hard-fought victory in a hostile environment. After his team’s narrow 41-38 OT victory, Kelly told sideline reporter Katie George, “I’m in favor of execution, maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight.”
Perhaps Kelly has some right to be upset, though college football fans likely aren’t. The game was a thrilling masterclass in offense between No. 9 Notre Dame and Florida State.
Notre Dame started the first quarter with a 4-and-1 on the FSU 42, and Fighting Irish QB Jack Coan completed a TD to Michael Mayer. Coan ended the day with 366 yards and four touchdowns.
A bootleg run from Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis kept FSU in contention before the half, down 17-14.
Things quickly got rolling in the third quarter when Jordan Travis hit a 60-yard touchdown bomb down the sideline to Ja’Khi Douglas. Travis completed 9 of 19 passes and threw for two scores and three interceptions.
However, he made a crucial mistake on the sidelines in the fourth quarter that may have jeopardized his starting position going forward. He misplaced helmet, which prompted the coaching staff to send FSU backup QB McKenzie Milton onto the field.
That’s when everything began to change for the ‘Noles.
Milton is a former UCF Knights quarterback who suffered a gruesome knee injury in November 2018. He was then later in danger of losing his leg as a result of a damaged artery. These injuries kept him away from football for nearly three years.
On Sunday night, Milton was back on the football field. He stepped in for Jordan Travis and inspired the Seminoles to an 18-point answer that tied the contest 38-38 and forced the game into overtime.
Though Milton may take his spot from here on out, Jordan Travis praised Milton for being ready on the sideline in the crucial moment and making the most out of an incredible comeback moment.
“I couldn’t get the smile off my face. To see him run on the field, it gave me chills. He’s a great dude, I’m so happy to see him on the field performing, and I’m blessed to have him on my team.”
Unfortunately, the Best Picture game didn’t follow the comeback kid script. The FSU kicker, Ryan Fitzgerald, missed a 37-yard field goal attempt in OT, which kept the game tied. Notre Dame kicker, Jonathan Doerer, then came in and hit one from 41 yards to seal the win, 41-38.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela