SportsCollege SportsFlorida State University


Florida State versus Notre Dame: All-time series history

Seminoles, Fighting Irish have met 9 times on gridiron
Florida State Seminoles vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish all-time series since 2018
Posted at 6:49 AM, Oct 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-10 06:49:34-04

Florida State is preparing to face Notre Dame this weekend for just the 10th time in school history. The Seminoles are 6-3 all-time against the Fighting Irish, including a 2-0 record in bowl games.

No. 20 Florida State (3-1) 19, Notre Dame (2-2) 13
Notre Dame Stadium | Oct. 10, 1981

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Gerry Faust (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Michael Whiting (Florida State), Ricky Williams (Florida State), Mike Rendina (Florida State), Rohn Stark (Florida State), Greg Bell (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles defense stuffs Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 1981
Florida State's defense stuffs a Notre Dame ball carrier, Saturday, Oct. 10, 1981, at Notre Dame Stadium. The Seminoles beat the Fighting Irish 19-13.

Florida State broke a 13-13 tie midway through the fourth quarter and held on to defeat Notre Dame in its first-ever trip to the "House That Rockne Built." The Seminoles and Fighting Irish were tied 3-3 at halftime, thanks to FSU kicker Mike Rendina's 25-yard field goal with 3:16 left before the break to even the score. He also booted a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter to give FSU a 13-6 lead. All-American punter Rohn Stark pinned the Irish for much of the game, averaging 48.8 yards on six punts, including three of more than 50 yards. A pair of seniors -- fullback Ricky Williams and running back Michael Whiting -- saved the Seminoles offensively. Williams rushed for a career-high 135 yards, while Whiting caught a pair of touchdowns, including the 5-yard game winner with 7:41 left to play. One week after a decisive victory at then-No. 7 Ohio State, FSU put the nation on notice that the Seminoles were a program on the rise. "To me personally, it was the biggest win I'll ever have," Bowden said after the game. "I have tremendous respect for Notre Dame. Having wanted to coach all my life, you can imagine what respect I have for a place that produced the likes of Knute Rockne."

No. 2 Notre Dame (9-0) 31, No. 1 Florida State (9-0) 24
Notre Dame Stadium | Nov. 13, 1993

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Lou Holtz (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Charlie Ward (Florida State), Kez McCorvey (Florida State), Shawn Wooden (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles QB Charlie Ward throws as Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive tackle Jim Flanigan pursues in 1993
Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward looks for a receiver as Notre Dame tackle Jim Flanigan bears down on Ward during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 13, 1993, at Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish defeated the Seminoles 31-24.

A comeback for the ages fell just short for top-ranked Florida State at Notre Dame Stadium when quarterback Charlie Ward's final pass was knocked down at the goal line by cornerback Shawn Wooden as time expired, giving second-ranked Notre Dame a 31-24 victory over the Seminoles in what was being billed as the "Game of the Century." With ESPN taking its popular "College GameDay" show on the road for the first time, Notre Dame jumped out to a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter before the Seminoles began their surge. Ward found running back Warrick Dunn in the left flat to connect on a 6-yard touchdown that cut the deficit to 10, and Scott Bentley's 24-yard field goal with 10:40 to play sliced the margin to within a touchdown. After the Fighting Irish retook the lead on a 11-yard touchdown run from Jeff Burris, the Seminoles struck again on Kez McCorvey's 20-yard touchdown from Ward, cutting the score to 31-24 with 2:26 to play. Ward opened the final drive by scrambling, then flipping the ball to McCorvey as he was being tackled for a 9-yard gain. Ward directed the Seminoles to the Notre Dame 14-yard line with 10 seconds left. His first shot at the end zone was batted down at the line, leaving three seconds left on the clock. FSU's rally ended one play and 14 yards short when Wooden swatted away Ward's final pass at the goal line. During the Notre Dame celebration, a teammate leaped on Wooden's back, knocking him to the ground and causing a knee injury that required surgery to repair. Notre Dame was upset by Boston College at home the next weekend and the Seminoles went on to win their first national championship. The Irish finished No. 2.

No. 8 Florida State (9-1-1) 23, Notre Dame (6-4-1) 16
Florida Citrus Bowl | Nov. 12, 1994

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Lou Holtz (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Warrick Dunn (Florida State), Rock Preston (Florida State), Dan Mowrey (Florida State), Bobby Taylor (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles QB Danny Kanell pressured by Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 1994
Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell is pressured by Notre Dame's defense, Saturday, Nov. 12, 1994, at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Dan Mowrey kicked a trio of field goals and the Florida State defense held Notre Dame to just three first downs and 80 total yards of offense in the first half as the Seminoles stifled the Fighting Irish in a 23-16 victory at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Warrick Dunn teamed with Rock Preston to lead a ground attack that ate away at the clock and kept the defense well-rested. After a scoreless first quarter, Mowrey booted a pair of field goals on back-to-back possessions to give the Seminoles a 6-0 lead. On Notre Dame's next series, FSU linebacker Derrick Brooks intercepted a pass from quarterback Ron Powlus and returned it 24 yards. With FSU's offense driving, Notre Dame cornerback Bobby Taylor hit quarterback Danny Kanell on a blind-side blitz, forcing a fumble that Taylor recovered and returned 57 yards for a touchdown. The extra point gave Notre Dame a 7-6 lead. On the final possession of the half, Kanell navigated FSU down the field, but an apparent touchdown by Preston was ruled out of bounds at the 2-yard line, and the Seminoles had to settle for Mowrey's 19-yard field goal and a 9-7 halftime lead. Preston scored the first touchdown of the game on his 28-yard run in the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 16-10 lead. After Mowrey missed on a 44-yard field goal attempt, the Irish tied the game on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Powlus to Derrick Mayes. The Irish had a chance to take the lead, but Scott Cengia missed the extra point attempt. Dunn scored the game-winning touchdown on a 5-yard run with 2:53 left, finishing with 163 yards on 29 carries. Preston carried the ball 12 times for 165 yards.

No. 8 Florida State (9-2) 31, No. 6 Notre Dame (9-2) 26
Orange Bowl | Jan. 1, 1996

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Lou Holtz (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Danny Kanell (Florida State), Andre Cooper (Florida State), Tom Krug (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles receiver Andre Cooper eludes Notre Dame defense in 1996 Orange Bowl
Florida State wide receiver Andre Cooper eludes Notre Dame defenders on the way to one of his three touchdowns in the Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1996, at the Miami Orange Bowl.

Danny Kanell threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to give Florida State a 31-26 come-from-behind victory against Notre Dame in their first-ever bowl meeting. Notre Dame opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Tom Krug, filling in for an injured Ron Powlus, to Derrick Mayes, but the Seminoles tied the game when Andre Cooper collected a 15-yard scoring pass from Kanell later that same quarter. Trailing 10-7 after a Notre Dame field goal in the second quarter, the Seminoles took a 14-10 halftime lead when Kanell connected with Cooper in the end zone from 10 yards out. FSU fell behind by double digits after the break and was held scoreless in the third quarter, but Kanell orchestrated a 17-point comeback with less than 10 minutes left in the game. After connecting with E.G. Green on an 11-yard touchdown pass to cut Notre Dame's lead to five, Kanell found Cooper again on a 3-yard touchdown strike to take a 29-26 lead. FSU's defense forced the Irish into a fumble and a safety on their last two possessions to preserve the win. Cooper set a then-Orange Bowl record with three touchdown catches and the Seminoles set an NCAA record with their 11th consecutive bowl victory.

No. 6 Notre Dame (7-0) 34, No. 11 Florida State (5-2) 24
Doak S. Campbell Stadium | Oct. 26, 2002

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Tyrone Willingham (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Carlyle Holiday (Notre Dame), Ryan Grant (Notre Dame), Adrian McPherson (Florida State)

Florida State Seminoles receiver Anquan Boldin stiff arms Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Preston Jackson in 2002
Florida State receiver Anquan Boldin stiff arms Notre Dame cornerback Preston Jackson as he runs for yardage after a second-quarter catch, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002, in Tallahassee, Fla. The Fighting Irish defeated the Seminoles 34-24.

Carlyle Holiday threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns as No. 6 Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Florida State 34-24 to remain undefeated as the teams met in Tallahassee for the first time. The game wasn't as close as the score indicated. The Fighting Irish capitalized on three turnovers during a four-minute span in the third quarter and held FSU running back Greg Jones to 34 yards on 14 carries. The Seminoles kept it close in the first half, tying the game on a 1-yard run from fullback Torrance Washington and heading into the locker room in a stalemate. With the game tied at 10, FSU quarterback Chris Rix threw an interception that Notre Dame turned into a 35-yard field goal and a 13-10 lead. Two plays later, safety Glenn Earl hit Rix as he tried to scramble, causing a fumble. Running back Ryan Grant scored on the next play, taking a pitch from Holiday and marching into the end zone for a 20-10 lead. After Leon Washington botched the kickoff, Notre Dame got the ball back at FSU's 17-yard line. Holiday then found Omar Jenkins in the corner of the end zone two plays later for a 27-10 lead. When the quarter ended, Notre Dame had outscored the Seminoles 17-0. Grant sealed the victory with a 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Rix, who was 13-of-32 passing for 207 yards with two interceptions and a fumble, was benched in favor of Adrian McPherson, who threw a pair of touchdowns to Anquan Boldin and running back Nick Maddox in the final two minutes of the game. The Irish got off to their best start since 1993 before losing the next week at home to Boston College. Sound familiar?

No. 5 Florida State (7-1) 37, Notre Dame (2-5) 0
Notre Dame Stadium | Nov. 1, 2003

Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Tyrone Willingham (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Chris Rix (Florida State), Craphonso Thorpe (Florida State), Vontez Duff (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles receiver Craphonso Thorpe runs for TD vs. Notre Dame in 2003
Florida State wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe escapes from a Notre Dame defender on his way to the end zone, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2003, at Notre Dame Stadium.

Chris Rix passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns to lead fifth-ranked Florida State to a 37-0 victory at Notre Dame Stadium, holding the Fighting Irish scoreless at home for the first time since 1978. Rix completed a 38-yard pass to Craphonso Thorpe on the first play from scrimmage, setting up Xavier Beitia's 40-yard field goal. Rix threw his first two touchdowns in the first quarter, hooking up with P.K. Sam on a 6-yard score and connecting with Thorpe on a 35-yard scoring play to give the Seminoles an early 17-0 advantage. The Seminoles tacked on two more Beitia field goals to take a 23-0 halftime lead. Rix threw three interceptions, but it didn't bring any luck to the Irish. Notre Dame cornerback Vontez Duff intercepted Rix's pass and returned it 55 yards to FSU's 9-yard line, but the Seminoles kept the Irish from scoring. Thorpe hauled in a 38-yard touchdown reception to make it 30-0 in the third quarter and cornerback Leroy Smith had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown to cap the scoring. The Irish managed just one first down on eight possessions in the first half. The first and only shutout in the series was the second worst loss by the Irish on their home field.

No. 25 Florida State (8-4) 18, Notre Dame (8-4) 14
Champs Sports Bowl | Dec. 29, 2011

Coaches: Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame)

Key Players: E.J. Manuel (Florida State), Rashad Greene (Florida State), Dustin Hopkins (Florida State), Michael Floyd (Notre Dame), Zeke Matta (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles receiver Rashad Greene runs from Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2011 Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State wide receiver Rashad Greene runs past Notre Dame defensive tackle Sean Cwynar (98) after a reception in the second half of the Champs Sports Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles won 18-14.

Florida State scored 18 unanswered points to defeat Notre Dame 18-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl. It was a tale of two halves for Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, both in their second seasons at their respective schools. Notre Dame held just a 7-0 lead at halftime, thanks to safety Zeke Matta. The Vero Beach native scored on a 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown, putting the Fighting Irish ahead in the first quarter. After a scoreless second inning, the Irish added to their lead on a 5-yard touchdown reception from Michael Floyd in the third quarter. Florida State's first score of the evening came on a 42-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins with 9:03 left in the quarter. Bert Reed capped off FSU's 84-yard drive with his 18-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, but the Seminoles unsuccessfully went for two points. Behind 14-9 in the remaining quarter, the Seminoles took their first lead of the game on a 15-yard touchdown reception by Rashad Greene before another failed two-point conversion attempt. FSU added some cushion with Hopkins' 29-yard field goal that extended the lead. FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel finished 20-of-31 for 249 yards with two touchdowns, while Notre Dame's Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix combined for 187 yards and three interceptions.

No. 2 Florida State (6-0) 31, No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0) 27
Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium | Oct. 18, 2014

Coaches: Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Jameis Winston (Florida State), Karlos Williams (Florida State), Everett Golson (Notre Dame)

Florida State Seminoles QB Jameis Winston throws pass vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2014
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston watches as his pass is almost blocked by Notre Dame's Jarron Jones in the second quarter, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles beat the Fighting Irish 31-27.

Second-ranked Florida State benefitted from a controversial finish to defeat No. 5 Notre Dame 31-27 in Tallahassee. The Fighting Irish held substantial advantages in total yards and time of possession in the first half, yet they led just 17-10 at halftime. FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman Memorial Trophy as a freshman in 2013, led the Seminoles on a nine-play, 70-yard drive in the third quarter, culminating with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene that tied the game. Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson then guided the Irish on an 83-yard touchdown drive that put them back on top. FSU running back Karlos Williams had two crucial late-game touchdowns. His first -- a 2-yard run with 3:38 remaining in the third quarter -- allowed the Seminoles to tie the game at 24. After the Irish retook the lead on a 46-yard field goal by Kyle Brindza in the fourth quarter, Williams scored again on a 1-yard run that gave the Seminoles their first and only lead with 7:39 to go. The Irish appeared to dash the dreams of playoff-poised Florida State when Golson threw an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Corey Robinson with 13 seconds to play, but an offensive pass interference call erased the 2-yard touchdown and, on fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line, Golson was hit on a pass that was intercepted by freshman linebacker Jacob Pugh. Winston threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, but he was even more impressive in the second half, throwing just one incompletion in the final 30 minutes. The victory for the defending national champions took place in the midst of a 29-game winning streak. Golson went on to become the starting quarterback for FSU as a graduate transfer in 2015.

No. 3 Notre Dame (9-0) 42, Florida State (4-5) 13
Notre Dame Stadium | Nov. 10, 2018

Coaches: Willie Taggart (Florida State), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame)

Key Players: Brandon Wimbush (Notre Dame), Dexter Williams (Notre Dame), Cam Akers (Florida State)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back runs for TD vs. Florida State Seminoles in 2018
Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams runs for a 32-yard touchdown against Florida State in the second half, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, at Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Brandon Wimbush added three scores through the air as the Fighting Irish soundly defeated Florida State 42-13 at Notre Dame Stadium. The Seminoles got the ball first but turned it over on the second play from scrimmage when quarterback Deondre Francois threw a pass intended for tight end Tre' McKitty into the arms of Notre Dame safety Nick Coleman, whose 27-yard return to FSU's 3-yard line set up the first of Wimbush's three touchdown passes. The Seminoles went three-and-out on their ensuing possession and the Irish used a 14-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to go ahead 14-0. FSU running back Cam Akers fumbled on the very next play and the Irish recovered, building an early 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, it was all but over with the Irish ahead 32-6. The lone bright spot for the Seminoles was Akers, who scored FSU's only touchdowns. His 8-yard run in the second quarter cut Notre Dame's lead to 17-6, but Ricky Aguayo's extra-point attempt was blocked and returned for two. Akers scored again on a 7-yard run in the third quarter, but by then the damage had been done for the Seminoles. Williams became the first running back to rack up more than 200 rushing yards against the Seminoles since 1982 and FSU finished with its first losing season since 1976.