Jack Coan made Sayville proud in his Notre Dame football debut Saturday night, throwing four touchdown passes in the Irish’s wild 41-38 overtime win over Florida State in Tallahassee.
Playing in front of a national television audience and a hostile stadium crowd of nearly 80,000 tomahawk-chop-chanting Seminoles fans, Coan set a Notre Dame team record for passing yards in a season opener with 366 yards.
“It doesn’t even feel real to be wearing this jersey with this group of guys around me,” Coan said in a postgame interview on the field with ABC. “To get a win like this, it’s just a dream come true. You dream of playing in places like this. This is an iconic place.”
Coan completed 26 of 35 passes, spreading the wealth among his receiving corps: Four different Irish teammates caught his touchdown passes.
“I thought he did a nice job,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “To put 41 (points on the board) in his first performance, that’s pretty good.”
Coan, a Wisconsin transfer who starred in high school for Sayville, helped the Irish roll to a 38-20 before Florida State began to mount a spirited comeback in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles’ backup quarterback McKenzie Milton — playing for the first time since suffering a devastating, career-altering knee injury while playing for Central Florida in 2018 — led two fourth quarter scoring drives that tied the game and sent it into overtime.
Coan, with his parents Mike and Donna cheering in the crowd, opened the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown strike to tight end Mike Mayer on his very first series as Notre Dame’s quarterback. He tossed for another TD with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, a 23-yard strike to Joe Wilkins Jr. that left the Irish up 17-14 at halftime.
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Coan led Notre Dame on three more touchdown marches in the third quarter, including touchdown passes of 37 and 6 yards.
After Florida State failed to score on its first possession of overtime, Notre Dame kicker Jonathan Doerer secured the win with a 41-yard field goal.
Below is a video of Coan’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Austin. It put the Irish up 24-20 early in the third quarter.
A thing of beauty
Coan announced in January that he was transferring to Notre Dame as a graduate student. He started for Wisconsin in 2019, leading the Badgers to an appearance in the Rose Bowl. The 2017 Sayville High School graduate injured his foot prior to the start of Wisconsin’s shortened season last fall, and did not have the opportunity to play again for the Badgers.
Above image: Twitter / Notre Dame Football