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Outlined Against a Blue-Gray Sky…The Irish Rout #4 Clemson!

Last week, Notre Dame Football soundly defeated the Syracuse Orangemen who had just the week before, mightily challenged the Clemson Tigers, losing only by a field goal. So, did the Irish have a chance to squeak past Clemson at home? Well, they didn’t just “squeak” by the Tigers, they beat them down by a score of 35-14!

The Irish got off to another fast start with a blocked punt by Jordan Botelho which was picked up by Prince Kollie who ran it in for the first of 5 Irish touchdowns of the night. Our special teams’ performance this year has been nothing less than spectacular with 7 blocked punts along with the stand out performance of grad transfer, Jon Sot, whose own punts throughout the game put Clemson in some pretty poor field positions. But the Irish defense displayed their strength with 4 quarterback sacks and 7 tackles in total for losses. Sacks by JD Bertrand, Isaiah Foskey, Ta’Riq Bracy and Howard Cross III made life miserable for DJ Uiagalelei, the beleaguered Clemson QB. The star for the defense, though, was 18 year old, true freshman, Benjamin Morrison! Morrison already had one interception under his belt, and when Clemson replaced Uiagalelei with another true freshman, Cade Klubnik, Morrison quickly picked off Klubnik’s 1st passing attempt and ran it back for 96 yards and an Irish touchdown. The #4 Clemson Tigers did not even put a touchdown on the scoreboard until the 4th quarter of the game!

Once again, on offense, the “three-headed monster” of Estime, Diggs and Tyree gobbled up yardage on the field to dominate time of possession for the Irish! Audric and Logan both had over 100 yards rushing while Chris contributed both on the ground and in the air for a total of 52 yards in rushing and receiving. Of course, we also have to recognize our All-American TE, Michael Mayer, for his 4 catches for 44 yards, one of which took him into the end zone and made him the leader of all Irish tight ends now in total receptions, total yards and total touchdowns after only 3 years. Mayer also was the first player to the ball when Clemson attempted an onside kick late in the 4th quarter. What an incredible asset he has been for the Irish in all aspects of play for a tight end, and we’ve had some great ones!

Marcus Freeman was elated with the performance of his team last night and when the crowd rushed the field, Coach was right there with them cheering. Clemson coach, Dabo Swinney commented after the game that Notre Dame “absolutely dominated us in every aspect of football…”

This afternoon, the Irish made it back to the AP rankings at #20 and will now go on to their annual match up against Navy next Saturday in Baltimore at 12:00 Noon on ABC. A strong finish to the year will keep the Irish in the rankings and possibly move them higher with a win against their arch enemy, Southern Cal on Thanksgiving weekend, but for now, just BEAT NAVY!

And as always, GO IRISH!


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