No. 2 Florida State pushes win streak to 23 with dramatic defeat of No. 5 Notre Dame

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Give Jimbo Fisher, Jameis Winston and No. 2 Florida State credit: they’re making their quest for a second national championship much more entertaining than their mostly-unchallenged drive to the 2013 title.

In the same stadium where the Seminoles used every one of the Clemson Tigers’ nine lives to survive 23-17 in overtime, Florida State hung on for a dramatic 31-27 win over No. 5 Notre Dame. So dramatic, in fact, was this win that the script had been written for an Irish win for the briefest of moments. Facing a 4th-and-18 at his own 44 with just over a minute to play, Everett Golson scrambled to his right and found a wide open Corey Robinson for the improbable conversion. Then, facing a fourth-and-goal at the two inside of 20 seconds to play, Golson (who, you must remember, beat Stanford with a 4th-and-10 touchdown pass) hit a wide open Robinson for the winning touchdown.

But Notre Dame was hit with an offensive pass interference call, taking the winning points off the board and giving Notre Dame another shot at the 18. Jalen Ramsey, the same defender interfered with the play before, pressured Golson into a hurried throw, and the pass sailed through the end zone incomplete.

Florida State would survive. The win streak is now at 23.

In truth, the Seminoles worked for this win like few before it. Notre Dame led on five different occasions, outgained FSU by nearly 15o yards, achieved eight more first downs, limited the Florida State rushing attack to 50 yards, and held Winston under 275 passing yards. Florida State did not take the lead until a Karlos Williams one-yard touchdown spurt with 7:39 remaining, which also happened to be the winning score.

Golson completed 31-of-52 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 11 times for 33 yards, and Tarean Folston rushed 21 times for 120 yards. Robinson hauled in eight receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and William Fuller added eight grabs for 79 yards and a score.

Winston’s final stats (23-of-31, 273 yards, two touchdowns, one pick) look better on the box score than they did on the field. Florida State, playing without offensive line coach Rick Trickett after he was forced to stay home due to health concerns, struggled handling Notre Dame’s pressure throughout the night. Williams was FSU’s leading rusher at 25 yards, while Rashad Greene caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

The win pushes Florida State to 7-0 and keeps the ‘Noles in control of their own destiny. They’ll play next at Louisville on Thursday, on Oct. 30.

For Notre Dame, this has to be an extremely bittersweet loss. On one hand, the Irish played like the better team for much of the night. They walked into the house of the defending champions and more than held their own. On the other hand, they did all that and still lost. They’ll need help to reach the College Football Playoff now, and will have to do so without an FSU win on their resume.

Notre Dame is off next week, and faces Navy at FedEx Field on Nov. 1.

Knee injury knocks Boston College QB Anthony Brown out for a second season

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Anthony Brown had his redshirt freshman season cut short due to a knee injury, battled back to start all 12 games in 2018 and BC’s first six contests this fall, until yet another knee injury knocked him out for another season.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio revealed Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season with what the school is calling a “lower leg injury.” Brown made a cut avoiding a tackle during BC’s Oct. 5 game against Louisville and immediately clutched his left knee. Boston College lost the game, 41-39, though Brown began the contest 6-of-7 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re very, very sad for Anthony. He worked hard to get himself where he was. He’s seventh all-time in passing in BC history and heading towards greater things this year. He’s had a great career and he’s prepared and practiced and put so much into it. We’re so proud of him,” Addazio said.

The fourth-year junior from Cliffwood, N.J., finishes his season 81-of-137 for 1,250 yards with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 128 yards and two scores.

“It’s a tough deal, but he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back,” Addazio said. “We’re gonna love him and support him and get him back to where he was, but his season has come to an end.”

Brown can return as a fifth-year senior in 2020, with two year-ending knee injuries under his belt, literally and figuratively.

Virginia loses CB Bryce Hall for the season

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Virginia has lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall revealed Monday.

He suffered an ankle injury in Virginia’s loss to Miami on Friday and underwent surgery on Monday, which will spell the end of his college career. The injury came while Hall was blocking on a punt return. Trainers put the injured ankle in an air cast and, while players on both teams gave him good wishes, ESPN decided the injury was gruesome enough that it would not air replays of the play.

“Bryce Hall is in good spirits,” Mendenhall said. “We expect a good recovery, he sustained a left ankle injury and had surgery Monday. We do not expect him back this season. He is an amazing young person, I am thankful for his efforts and to be his coach. On the bus after the game, Bryce was sitting behind me and he said to me, ‘Coach, I’m a human buoy.’ He has been exemplary in everything he has done here.”

Hall is the best player on Virginia’s roster. The Harrisburg, Pa., senior entered the season a Preseason All-American on multiple lists and led the nation in 2018 with 24 passes defended. He also posted two interceptions and 62 tackles, earning him First Team All-ACC honors.

 

South Carolina apologizes for hedge-ripping after Gamecocks upset of No. 10 Georgia

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South Carolina pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, knocking off then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in overtime, in Athens. And the ‘Cocks left Sanford Stadium with souvenirs, claiming some of Georgia’s famous hedges for themselves.

Some hedges were even seen in the hands of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, a Georgia player and former Bulldog.

While some may call it good, old victory fun, Georgia AD Greg McGarity did not have a sense of humor about his shrubbery getting ripped up.

“I don’t like it all,” he told DawgNation. “We sure don’t do that when we win at an opponents’ venue under Kirby’s leadership.”

McGarity also said his South Carolina counterpart, Ray Tanner, apologized for his team’s postgame celebration.

“Ray just apologized for those actions,” he told the site.

UTSA QB Frank Harris lost for the year

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UTSA quarterback Frank Harris will miss the remainder of the season with an upper body injury, head coach Frank Wilson announced Monday. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.

Harris has not played since originally suffering the injury in a 45-3 loss to North Texas on Sept. 21. He was on the sideline in a sling during the Roadrunners’ loss to UAB on Saturday.

A second-year player from the San Antonio era, Harris has missed most or all of the last three seasons while dealing with injuries. He appeared in eight games as a senior at Schertz Clemens High School, then missed all of 2018 with an ACL injury.

In three full games this season (he did not throw a pass against North Texas), Harris completed 66-of-91 passes for 486 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 126 yards.

In Harris’ absence, UTSA has turned to LSU transfer Lowell Narcisse, who went 8-of-19 for 94 yards while rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown in a 33-14 loss to UAB.