It’s here! The week that Fighting Irish and Clemson fans alike have been waiting for is finally here! A show down of epic proportions is on tap for this week! The Undefeated Clemson Tigers ranked #1 in the country travel to South Bend to take on the Undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish who are ranked 4th. Lets take a closer look at Clemson.
Notable Alumni: John Edwards (Politician and Writer), Dolph Lundgren (Filmmaker), and Mark Tremonti (Guitarist for Creed and Alter Bridge). Football Alumni Include: Gaines Adams, CJ Spiller, DeShaun Watson and Christian Wilkins.
About the Clemson Offense:
The biggest story line for the Tigers offense is of course Trevor Lawrence missing the game due to Covid-19. Which will “force” freshman D.J. Uiagalelei in as quarterback. Irish fans groaned when they found out Trevor Lawrence wasn’t gonna be able to play against the Fighting Irish. With that being said, Irish fans will get everything they want in this high powered Tiger Offense. The Tigers boast the number #1 scoring offense averaging 46 points a game. Travis Etienne will lead this offense into battle after deciding to return for his senior year instead of going early to the NFL Draft. He leads the team in rushing with 606 yards on 103 attempts for 9 touchdowns. Etienne is averaging 5.9 yards a carry and 86 rushing yards a game. Although 86 rushing yards a game isn’t flashy Etienne is the whole package as he is the second leading receiver for the Tigers. Etienne has 434 receiving yards for an average of 15 yards per catch and 2 touchdowns.
Receiving wise the Notre Dame defensive secondary is gonna have it’s hands full with senior Amari Rodgers who has 586 receiving yards for an average of 14.6 yards a catch and 6 touchdowns. The Tigers offense will rely heavily on these two to help quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei weather the storm. Now Uiagalelei is nothing to scoff at either a 5 star recruit coming into Clemson Uiagalelei passed for 444 yards in his debut against the Boston College Eagles and helped the Tigers rally back for a come from behind victory over the Eagles last Saturday.
About the Defense:
Clemson on top of having a top ten offense also has a top ten defense. The Tigers defense comes in at #7 in the country and will look to disrupt and fluster this Notre Dame offense. Baylon Spencer Clemson’s Inside Linebacker a Senior is the heart and soul of the Tigers defense. He comes in leading the team in tackles with 39, two sacks and one forced fumble he will look to give Ian Book fits. The Clemson front seven averages just under 300 pounds. They are a tenacious pass rush and will look clog up running Lanes and get pressure on Book. Clemson is an overall dominant team.
About the Irish Offense:
The Notre Dame offense has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this season far. Irish fans have seen the offense sputter and on the flip side have seen the offense be explosive. It will be up to the Irish lead by Ian Book in the biggest matchup of their season to show up and show out against this Tiger Defense. Of course Lenzy will be out again for this matchup which really hurts the Fighting Irish. Since the biggest flaw in the Notre Dame offense is we haven’t really seen the Receivers break out and be huge threats. There has been flashes with Ben Skowronek, Kevin Austin, and Lawrence Keys, but none of those guys has shown huge threat potential. Ian Book needs to have his best game this week if he wants to beat one of the only teams to beat him thus far in his career. Book needs to calm down, not do too much and not have happy feet, if he can do the fundamentals and weather the storm that is this Clemson Defense the Fighting Irish will have a great chance to win.
The running game for the Fighting Irish has shown that this is their bright spot. Kyren Williams, Chris Tyree, and C’Bo Flemister lead the way being the three headed monster that is the Notre Dame backfield. Kyren Williams is now at 600 yards compare that to Travis Etienne on Clemson who has 606 and one more week than Williams. Tyree is up to 246 and Flemister at 236. Its very clear though that Williams is the lead back but he has to hold on to the ball after a scoop and score for Georgia Tech inside the Redzone.
About the Defense:
The Notre Dame Defense boasts a top 4 overall defense and 6th best in scoring defense in the nation coming into this match up against Clemson. This will be the best offense the Irish defense will have seen up to this point and it will be a fire meets steel in this matchup. Even so the Fighting Irish defense has been lights out thus far. The Fighting Irish will look to shut down the Clemson Tigers. The Fighting Irish defense only gives up 10 points a game compare that to Clemsons average of 46 a game. Notre Dame has outscored their opponents 209-62. The Fighting Irish are giving up 93 rush yards a game and 173 passing yards for a grand total of 266.