Defense dominated the first half of the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando on Thursday night as an early first quarter touchdown by Notre Dame's Zeke Motta off a fumble by Florida State's Devonta Freeman proved to be the only scoring. The Fighting Irish lead the Seminoles 7-0 at halftime.
The second quarter was an little more than a frequent exchange of punts and Notre Dame's front seven frequently getting clean shots on Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, standing behind an inexperienced offensive line.
Manuel finished the half 9-15 for 95 yards, but he accounted for just about all of the Seminoles offense. The Florida State run game was stifled and held to just nine total rushing yards in the half. Freeman is the leading rusher with 13 yards on two carries.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, fared just as poorly on offense. Quarterback Tommy Rees was just 5-10 for 41 yards and an interception in the half. Leading rusher Cierre Wood has just 16 yards on two attempts.
For the half, Florida State outgained Notre Dame 104-91, putting this game on pace to be a real defensive slugfest in the second half.