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Defensive observations from Florida State’s loss to Notre Dame

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Notre Dame takes advantage of FSU’s personnel issues at linebacker.

Notre Dame Athletics

Florida State football traveled to South Bend coming off a win vs. Jacksonville State in which the Seminoles’ defense allowed just three points in the second half.

Defensive coordinator Adam Fuller was looking to build off some of those half time adjustments against veteran quarterback Ian Book and the Fighting Irish. Like every other team so far, Notre Dame took advantage of Florida State’s lack in personnel at the linebacker position group.

Here are our defensive observations from FSU’s loss to ND.

  • Notre Dame took advantage of Florida State’s front seven all night. The Fighting Irish ran all over the Seminoles, even when Fuller had the ‘Noles were in position. And when they weren’t in position, ND took advantage for big plays. In the first half alone, ND ran for 240 yards on 12 yards per rush and had six 10+ run gains, including three of at least 45 yards.
  • When they weren’t taking advantage of the backers in the run game, they attacked them in the pass game. Notre Dame heavily utilized their tight ends and running backs up the middle of the field. Five of 11 first half completions went to Notre Dame tight ends or running backs.
  • The defense did keep the ‘Noles in the game early on by taking advantage of Notre Dame mistakes. On the first drive of the game, Amari Gainer stripped running back Kyren Williams of the ball, and Asante Samuel fell on it for his second fumble recovery of the year. Florida State also recovered a muff point in the first quarter. The two takeaways led to 10 Florida State points.
  • Florida State and Fuller mixed it up quite a bit, but nothing was working. When they brought blitzes, Book got the ball out quick to open receivers. When they rushed four, the defensive line couldn’t generate any pressure. When the defensive line doesn’t play as the All-Americans they were thought to be, FSU’s defense is going to struggle mightily to stopping decent offenses.
  • Brendan Gant was one of, if not the brightest spot on the defense. The young safety flashed multiple times, including a big one-on-one tackle to keep a Notre Dame tight end out of the end zone. Gant has always been a high energy, big-hitter in the defensive back. If he can find himself in better positions at a more consistent rate, he’ll be a high impact player for the Seminoles’ defense.