October 7, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: S.K. Patrick
Clemson Has Statement Win versus Notre Dame
It was a huge game going into Death Valley. Clemson played Norte Dame in one of premier of college football Saturday. After turning Clemson into a top 15-20 football program in the country question lingered over head coach Dabo Swinney. One thing many felt was many was a signature after losing primetime games in the past. The coach had to be impressed with his team’s grit and determination. The win was the highest-ranked Tigers opponent since No. 5 Georgia to start the 2013 season.
Deshaun Watson finished with just 97 passing yards on 11-of-22 passing, but it was the quick strikes he engineered at the beginnings of both halves that resulted in a big win at home for the Clemson Tigers. Wayne Gallman added 99 rushing yards to Watson’s 93 on the ground to round out the top performers for the Tigers. Heisman Trophy candidate Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes, and ran for a score and 12th-ranked Clemson withstood No. 6 Notre Dame’s second-half rally for a 24-22 victory.
”This is what it’s all about,” Swinney said. ”It’s not always perfect. I told them, ‘Listen, we give you scholarships, we give you stipends and meals, and we give you nice uniforms and a place to live. I can’t give you guts. I can’t give you heart. Tonight it was BYOG, bring your own guts. They brought some guts and some heart and they never quit until the last play.’
Looking at Norte Dame’s offense they struggled against a Clemson defense ranked in the top tier of college football. The Fighting Irish struggled turning the ball over numerous of times. Going into the fourth it looked might the Tigers were going to run away with the game. Norte Dame turned a 21-point Clemson lead into a game that ended a yard shy of overtime.
DeShone Kizer threw for 321 yards on 19-of-35 passing, and the Irish outgained the Tigers 437-296. But it was the errors—the big errors—that cost the Irish in the end. Fumbles, interceptions, incorrect personnel resulting in unnecessary timeouts—all combined to put the Irish behind the eight ball almost from the opening kickoff.
“If you told me we were going to turn the ball over four times, I was going to tell you we would lose,” Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly said. “It doesn’t take a genius (to know) we turned the ball over four times and lost.
The Tigers find themselves in the top 10 next week. They also emerge as the favorites in the ACC and a contender for a College Football Playoff berth. They still have a stiff test against Florida State. The winner will most likely win the division.
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