Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

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

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30 NOV. 14, 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED football program has already dealt with one outbreak that forced the team to miss almost two weeks of practice. Of course, there's a chance this on- the-field celebration was harmless, but it was enough of a concern for the head coach to warn his players about the risks beforehand. "I told our team at our walkthrough today, 'Listen, I just want you to know when we win this thing that the fans are going to storm the field. With CO- VID being as it is, we got to get off the field and get to the tunnel,'" Kelly said. "Now I beat them all to the tun- nel, so that didn't go over so well." That's because it's difficult to move through hundreds of screaming col- lege students. "The fans storming the field was crazy," senior slot receiver Avery Da- vis said. "It's different when you see it from the movies, but when you're actually in there it was kind of weird, getting bumped around stuff, but I loved the energy, so it was pretty awesome at the same time." It's difficult to blame the players for wanting to share such a joyous occa- sion with their classmates, but there's a chance the team regrets this decision if it leads to even a minor outbreak. NOT 'TWO' GO FOR IT A two-point conversion attempt to try and filch a win in regulation did cross head coach Brian Kelly's mind, he admitted. But only for a moment. Kelly had the call he wanted. A mammoth win was two yards away if he kept the offense out there to try and take the lead for good af- ter mounting a 91-yard touchdown drive that ended with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, though, he didn't want to risk fail- ure and waste a comeback where his team righted itself after an at times wayward second half. "We had a two-point play that was, we felt, a really good one," Kelly said. "I thought about it. We had just worked too hard to get back into the game, and so it just didn't feel right to go for two there." Once he passed on it and the game reached overtime, going for two and the win was a non-starter af- ter both Notre Dame touchdowns. If the game reached the third overtime, both teams would be required to go for two after a touchdown anyway. There was no sense in possibly los- ing the game by going for it when it would be required soon enough. "Never did I think about going for two because you're going for two in the third," he said. "It's just not a wise decision from that perspective." ✦ NOTRE DAME VS. CLEMSON QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 11:13 7:54 4:46 6:29 19:07 11:15 30:22 Third-Down Conversions 4-5 1-4 1-3 3-6 5-9 4-9 9-18 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-1 Average Field Position ND-31 ND-41 ND-25 ND-25 ND-36 ND-25 ND-30 Clemson 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 3:47 7:06 10:14 8:31 10:53 18:45 29:38 Third-Down Conversions 1-2 1-4 2-5 0-3 2-6 2-8 4-14 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-1 1-1 Average Field Position CU-15 CU-20 CU-31 CU-32 CU-19 CU-32 CU-26 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards ND CU Nega ve 8 11 0-5 41 39 6-9 11 11 10-19 13 9 20-29 2 3 30-39 1 1 40-49 1 0 50 or more 2 3 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Notre Dame 6 3 2 1 Clemson 5 3 2 0 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Notre Dame • 1-10 ND35 Williams rush up middle for 65 yards and a touchdown • 3-7 ND47 Book pass complete to McKinley for 28 yards to the CU25 • 1-10 ND25 Book pass complete to McKinley for 45 yards to the CU30 • 3-11 ND42 Book pass complete to Mayer for 29 yards to the CU29 • 1-10 ND43 Book pass complete to Davis for 53 yards to the CU4 Clemson • 1-10 CU47 Uiagalelei pass complete to Powell for 53 yards and a touchdown • 2-10 CU12 Uiagalelei pass complete to Rodgers for 27 yards to the CU39 • 2-11 CU38 Uiagalelei pass complete to Rodgers for 35 yards to the ND27 • 1-10 CU25 Uiagalelei pass complete to Galloway for 27 yards to the ND48 • 1-10 CU29 Uiagalelei pass complete to Powell for 51 yards to the ND20 Senior wide receiver Avery Davis hauled in a huge 53-yard reception and the game-tying four-yard touch- down on Notre Dame's final drive of regulation. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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