Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 20 of 55 NOV. 14, 2020 21 Notre Dame's improbable come-from-behind, 47-40 victory versus Clemson was the program's first against the nation's No. 1 team in 27 years (a 31-24 triumph over Florida State in South Bend). PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS a fourth-and-24 predicament they were unable to convert. "Just watching our team handle them- selves in the fourth quarter, handle them- selves when there was adversity, as a coach, those are the special moments," head coach Brian Kelly stated of the most esteemed victory in his 11 seasons with the Fighting Irish. "Yeah, we won the football game, and I'm certainly excited about that. But more so, when you watch your players exhibit resolve and exhibit grit and refuse to lose a football game against the No. 1 team in the country — that by the way hadn't lost in 36 regular- season games — that's the special part about coaching these guys at Notre Dame. "As a coach you commit your voca- tion to this because you love seeing your players overcome what amounts to be sometimes difficult odds." FIRST QUARTER NOTRE DAME, 10-7 Top Moment: Following a holding penalty on Clemson's defense on the game's first play from scrimmage, Notre Dame's Williams raced 65 yards off the left side for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead at the 14:27 mark. Feature Performer: Both Book and Uiagalelei completed all five of their pass attempts, with Book for 71 yards and Uiagalelei 83. Book also carried or scrambled five times for 17 yards. Stats: Notre Dame had 166 yards of total offense compared to Clemson's 93. Items: On its first series following the Irish touchdown, Clemson faced third- and-one at its 25, but junior linebacker Shayne Simon broke through to nail Eti- enne for a one-yard loss … Notre Dame responded with a 54-yard drive that led to a fourth-and-inches at Clemson's 2-yard line, but a motion penalty on freshman tight end Michael Mayer forced the Irish to settle for a 24-yard field goal by senior Jonathan Doerer for a 10-0 lead with 5:55 remaining … Four plays later after converting a third-and-two, Uiagalelei went deep downfield and connected with Cornell Powell on a 53-yard touchdown over junior cornerback TaRiq Bracy. SECOND QUARTER NOTRE DAME, 23-13 Top Moment: Trailing 13-10, Clem- son took possession on its 31-yard line. On first down, Etienne bobbled a pitch, which was returned for a touchdown by Owusu-Koramoah, who caught the ball in the air while coming in on a blitz. Feature Performer: On the series af- ter his touchdown, Owusu-Koramoah forced a fumble by slot receiver Amari Rodgers that fifth-year senior cornerback Nick McCloud recovered at Clemson's 25. A personal foul call on Notre Dame then led to a 45-yard field goal by Doerer for a 23-10 cushion with 2:41 remaining. Stats: Clemson was limited to five rushing yards in the first half, with Eti- enne's nine carries totaling only six yards. Uiagalelei was 11-of-17 passing for 220 yards. Notre Dame had 144 yards on 22 rushing attempts in the first half, while Book was 9-of-14 passing for 101 yards. Items: With 13:09 left, Doerer kicked his second field goal (27 yards) for a 13-7 lead. The Irish had a first down at the Tigers' 10-yard line but gained only one yard on a run and had two incomplete passes … Clemson answered on the next series with 27-, 35- and 16-yard passes to Rodgers, but also had to settle for a 25- yard field goal by B.T. Potter with 8:32 left … With 1:09 remaining, Clemson used a 27-yard completion to tight end Braden Galloway followed by 26-yard toss to Etienne to set up a 45-yard field goal by Potter … On the final play of the half, a 57-yard field goal attempt by Doerer fell shot that Etienne returned near midfield before a crucial tackle by sophomore punter/holder Jay Bramblett. THIRD QUARTER TIED, 23-23 Top Moment: Following a three-and- out on Notre Dame's initial series of the second half, Clemson took possession at its 40, and Uiagalelei completed a seven-yard pass to Etienne under du- ress on third-and-five from the Irish 27 and snuck for a first down on fourth- and-inches from the 11. Two plays later, Uiagalelei found tight end Davis Allen for a 10-yard score to knot the score at 23 with 4:12 remaining. Feature Performer: With the Clem- son running game shut down, Uiagalelei completed 11 of 16 passes for 86 yards and the score to Allen. Stats: The Tigers outgained Notre Dame 103-66 in the quarter. Items: Clemson received the second half kickoff and drove to Notre Dame's 29-yard line, but once again had to settle for three when Potter drilled his third field goal, this one from 46 yards, to cut the Ti- gers' deficit to 23-16 at the 12:15 mark … After the Tigers tied the score at 23, on the first play after the kickoff Book launched a deep ball to fifth-year senior wideout Javon McKinley, who made a diving 45- yard reception at Clemson's 30. However, on third-and-one from the Clemson 7-yard line, Book kept on the option but fumbled on a strip by linebacker Jake Venables that linebacker Baylon Spector recovered in the end zone with one minute left. FOURTH QUARTER TIED, 33-33 Top Moment: Trailing 33-26, Notre Dame took possession at its 9-yard line with 1:48 left and two timeouts. Williams had a 14-yard run to his 43, and on the next play Book found Davis deep in the seam for 53 yards to the Clemson 4-yard line. On third-and-goal, Book found Da- vis in the middle for the four-yard touch- down. Doerer's extra point tied the game with 22 second left. Feature Performer: Book connected on 12 of 18 throws for 156 yards the first three quarters — and then 7 of 18 for 124 in the fourth, and added 13 yards on scrambles. Stats: The Irish tallied 150 yards of

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