It was always going to be a challenge.
While not reaching that final goal of securing an opening weekend upset, FSU looked significantly different from the team of 2020, hanging in with a top ten team to the point of nearly pulling off the unthinkable.
At one point facing an 18-point deficit, Florida State rallied to force overtime, starting with the ball following Notre Dame winning the toss.
How did they get there? Some explosive plays in the form of an 87-yard touchdown run by Jashaun Corbin and a 60-yard-catch by Ja’Khi Douglas, while the Fighting Irish put up their 38 points much off of the arm of quarterback Jack Coan.
Defensive end Jermaine Johnson, despite missing some time in the second half made his presence felt in the first, logging multiple tackles for loss on top of 1.5 sacks. FSU overall had an effective night against the run, holding Notre Dame to under 100 yards on the ground.
The main event though? Quarterback McKenzie Milton, coming in for Jordan Travis who struggled to consistently hit through the air (though the substitution was made due to a misplaced helmet), leading FSU on two scoring drives to force extra football. He nearly led FSU on a third during OT, but an errant throw into the ground led to a missed field goal by kicker Ryan Fitzgerald.
Notre Dame went on to win, hitting a field goal to secure the victory 41-38.