Statement Win for Notre Dame Over Clemson

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The Fighting Irish are a legit college football team and need to be taken seriously after last night's statement game 47-40 win over Clemson.  Now, before we go any further, I understand the Tigers were without Trevor Lawrence due to COVID-19.  His back-up D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards in the loss.  The Tigers were in good hands without Lawrence last night. 

Photo courtesy of blueandgold.com

Instead the story is how the Fighting Irish erased a 13 point deficit in regulation to force overtime to get the victory.  Kyren Williams was a force on the gridiron last night with 23 touches, 140 yards and three touchdowns.  Ian Book showcased why he could be developed into a starting NFL quarterback, but we have some time and debate on that topic. 

Williams scored from 65 yards out on the first play from scrimmage and established a strong ground game, while Book was sensational with 374 total yards. 


This Saturday night matchup wasn't one-sided.  The Tigers backup Uiagalelei needed only  four plays to get his team on the board.  He went over the top to wide receiver Cornell Powell for a 53 yard touchdown pass.  Both Uiageleli and Book were marvelous in the first quarter.  Neither quarterback threw an incomplete pass.


        

Notre Dame took a 23-13 lead into the half, after the two teams traded field goals and the Fighting Irish scoring 13 out of the next 16 points. The Fighting Irish capitalized on back-to-back turnovers before the half to extend their lead over the Tigers. 

Travis Etienne was a non-factor in the game and struggled against the Notre Dame defense.  Etienne had 18 carriers for 28 yards and one score.  Etienne fumbled for the second straight game as linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah took hold a mishandled pitch and took it to the house for a defensive touchdown.

Clemson would outscore Notre Dame 10-0 in the third quarter to tie the game at 23.  Uiagalelei led the Tigers on a 13-play drive, Clemson's longest possession of the game, and he would find Davis Allen with a 10-yard touchdown pass.



Tied at 23 late in a third quarter that had been dominated by Clemson after Notre Dame’s fast start, Book bolted inside the Clemson ten and was heading towards the end zone.  He fumbled on that run and the ball was recovered by the Tigers.  In what could have been a brutal play that could have crippled Notre Dame, they dug in and rallied around Book.  The fifth-year quarterback and captain shook off the turnover and his big-game reputation and led the Irish to a game-tying touchdown in the final 30 seconds.

The Tigers struck first in overtime with a one-yard run by Uiageleli.  Notre Dame answered back with Kyren Williams, who scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run.  Notre Dame would get the ball first in the second overtime.  Book engineered touchdown drives in both overtime sessions in Notre Dame’s 47-40 victory over Clemson.


 


This was a statement win for the Fighting Irish.  They earned their first win over a No.1 ranked team since 1993.  Head Coach Brian Kelly and Book orchestrated a great offensive performance against a Clemson team who fought just as hard as the Fighting Irish.  The limited capacity crowd stormed the field following the dramatic win, giving people cause for concern due to the pandemic.  Regardless of the pandemic, it was pandemonium in South Bend.  Huge win for Notre Dame. 


Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Statement Win for Notre Dame Over Clemson
Statement Win for Notre Dame Over Clemson
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