When former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton took the field and promptly led Florida State to 10 points on two drives to tie the game, it appeared to be a Hollywood ending in the making. Milton had not appeared in a game since 2018 after suffering a severe knee injury that required several surgeries, and his play on Sunday night capped a winding career comeback and sparked a resurgence for a Seminoles team that trailed by 18 points after three quarters.
In the end, though, it was the luck of the Irish that prevailed.
No. 9 Notre Dame withstood McKenzie's heroics and escaped Tallahassee with a 41-38 win in overtime on a game-winning 41-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer.
After falling behind, 20-17, early in the second half, the Irish appeared to take control of the game with 21 unanswered points to close out the third quarter. With a running game that failed to gain yards consistently, the Irish leaned on quarterback Jack Coan, making his first start for the team after transferring from Wisconsin. Coan completed 26 of 35 pass attempts for 366 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, setting a new school record for most passing yards in a team debut.
From there, the Seminoles came to life, scoring touchdowns on consecutive drives to cut the Notre Dame lead to three points. McKenzie came in on the second of those touchdown drives and went completed his first four pass attempts.
Florida State had a chance to win in regulation but settled for a game-tying field goal with under a minute left. The Seminoles got the ball first in overtime, but missed on a 37-yard field goal attempt. Doerer came through for Notre Dame to clinch its fifth consecutive season-opening victory.
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