Once upon a time, a regular season match between the two best teams in the country lived between exaggeration and some. No. 1 Notre Dame defeated No. 1 Clemson 47-40 in a double overtime thriller Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana. In doing so, the fight gave the Irish Tigers the first season loss of 2017, ending the country’s longest regular season win.
Notre Dame led almost the entire game before returning in the final seconds to force extra time. Clemson did not take the first lead of the game until 3:33 in the fourth quarter. The Tigers went 74 yards in 12 plays, before the Irish defense had absorbed much of the bottle, with Travis Etienne, who had been bottlenecked overnight by the Irish defense, finding the final zone from 3 yards.
Notre Dame only took the first lead of the game in the second game of the night. R.P. Kieran Williams was released for a 65-yard touchdown. The Irish had a chance to lift two touchdowns when Clemson faced fourth and 1st from the 2-yard line. However, a bad start backed them up to 5 yards, and they made it 10-0 to reach a field goal.
Clemson responded with his own touch, reducing the advantage to 10-7, but after its defense had targeted the Irish for another field, Etienne hit a toss in the background. Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Ovus-Koramova was very happy to snatch it from the air and return it to Touchdown to make it 20-10 Irish. The Tigers removed the ball from their next possession Ovusu-Koromova Amari Rodgers ball; However, Clemson Defense Notre Dame had another field goal.
Those missed opportunities almost miss the chance to upset the Irish. Clemson wiped out a 10-point deficit in the third quarter. With a chance to take the lead late in the third, QB Ian Book stumbled into the red zone, and Clemson jumped over the ball in the final zone.
Clemson was finally able to take the lead at 3:33 on the left, and then after two possessions, Notre Dame found the ball in its 0-yard line and going 1:48. The book largely landed on the field for the 53-yard link with Avery Davis to set the first and goal. A few plays later, the book is attached to Davis for a touch of touch.
In the first overtime, both teams traded touchdowns, but the Irish broke the serve in the second. After Williams scored his third touchdown to give Notre Dame a 47-40 lead, the Irish defense twice cleared Clemson QB DJ Uyagaleli twice, setting up two long plays. From the No. 1 team in the South Bend for the first time since 1993 they beat Florida.
Here are five key examples from Notre Dame’s win over Clemson.
1. Could Lawrence have made a difference?
He can’t say no, but it doesn’t look like Yuagaleli was a hindrance to the Tigers on Saturday. He finished 29 of 439 yards and 44 passes for two touchdowns. He rushed to third in the OT. His 439 passing yards are the only quarterback ever thrown against Notre Dame, surpassing the 425-yard Carson Palmer pile that accumulated in 2002.
Now, could Lawrence have made some shots that Yugaleli did not? May be. You could also argue that Lawrence may have shown more balance under pressure in the second overtime when Yuagaleli took two excuses. But I didn’t put those excuses in Uyghur. In the first play, no one is open. In one episode of the second play, Clemson’s left guard is beaten hard, and Uyagali is attacked before he realizes he’s in trouble. I would argue that the Tigers ’injuries have had a much more significant impact on the team than Lawrence’s absence.
2. Notre Dame deserves all credit
It should be clear to everyone. Although the Irish did not play a perfect game, they took the lead in the second game of the night and did not retreat until 215 seconds had been played. Instead of collapsing as many teams have, the book and the Irish offense together half-control the game.
On the other side of the ball, they were solid. Notre Dame had a game plan to get Travis Etienne out of the equation and force Yuagalle to continue to beat them. Upon the arrival of Yuagaleli, he did a fantastic job and almost conquered the Irish. But the Irish also succeeded in removing Etienne from the game.
Etienne ran only 28 yards in 18 carries, was not a major factor in the passing game, and took 57 yards in eight receptions. Notre Dame forced three breakthroughs, turning one of them directly into Touchdown, and had eight issues for the loss. The Irish had only two sacks at night, but they arrived at an important time!
3. Record it!
It was the book’s signature success. He had an extra life with the Irish and had never been an elite quarterback. It is one that can be won without the best teams, and in this modern elite quarterback, the limits of the book are placed against him. Many times it is unfair.
But Saturday night, like his team, he could have been great. On the contrary, he progressed. Many QBs would have gone into a shell after stumbling in the red zone, as the book did late in the third quarter, but he shook it. After Clemson failed to get anything for Notre Dame’s first possession following a touchdown to the Tigers’ first lead, he still kept his head up and kept quiet. He drove the Irish out of the shadow of their final zone and then saw Davis open in the middle, while the Clemson Blitzers attacked him. This is a beautiful throw. In fact, it may have been the best throw of the book’s career, and it set up Touchdown to control the game and force extra time.
The book crossed 310 yards, ran 64 yards and only finished one touchdown, but whatever the box score says, it was his biggest game with the Irish.
4. Clemson’s playoff hopes are not dead
Ask our Jerry Pam. Yes, Clemson’s 39-game regular-season winning streak is over. ACC has 29 wins and 15 straight roads. But it’s not going to leave the top four in the top 25 rankings this week. Clemson did not lose the game because it did not have Lawrence, but the absence of Lawrence would prevent him from being punished too severely. In addition, even if Lawrence had played, there would have been no reason to punish Clemson for this loss. There is no shame in losing to the country’s 4th team in double overtime, and Clemson will have every chance to earn a spot in the college football playoffs.
5. This is a great college football game
It’s not a deep thought, but it is true. Going a little further in a season and seeing some different results, the two best teams were happy to play a great game. Hope to see a code in the ACC Championship game next month.