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Irish Insights


Irish up 7-0

ORLANDO, Fla. – Notre Dame went good, good, bad, good to open the game as it took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter against Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.

The Irish forced a three-and-out on the Seminoles first series, and Michael Floyd gave the first sign of a punt return game by bringing back a punt 41 yards to Florida State's 37.

The Irish drove to the Seminoles' 4, but an all too familiar sight ended the drive – a turnover.

Tommy Rees had his pass tipped by linebacker Nigel Bradham and safety Lamarcus Joyner returned the INT to the Seminoles' 22.

But on the next play Manti Te'o forced a fumble and Zeke Motta scooped it up for a 29-yard TD return and a 7-0 lead with 9:04 left in the first quarter. It was the Irish's first fumble return for a score since Brian Smith brought one back against Michigan in 2008.

Neither team could score from there as Notre Dame missed the only other chance for points when David Ruffer's 47-yard field goal went wide right with 9 seconds left in the quarter.

Notre Dame has bottled Florida State's offense as it takes advantage of the Seminoles young offensive line. Florida State closed the first quarter with 18 offensive yards and has given up two sacks.

Notre Dame had 69 yards on offense in the first quarter.