Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 12, 2022

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

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Page 18 of 55 NOV. 12, 2022 19 said. "I really couldn't. They needed to help me get out of there." Also escorted off the field by the time the stadium lights were shut off some- time after midnight: the flower petals, cigar butts, green pom-poms (call them shakers for the thousands of Clemson fans who made the trip to South Bend and left as unsatisfied as Swinney), a 50-milliliter shooter of Skrewball peanut butter whisky and several other knick- knacks that found their way onto the playing surface in the pandemonium. It was a night to remember for Notre Dame. Head coach Marcus Freeman said so himself. But just as memorable as the postgame festivities should be the way the Irish played to allow everyone to have such an unforgettable experience. They shut the Tigers down in all three phases, scoring one touchdown on spe- cial teams, one on defense and three on offense. Notre Dame finished with 263 yards rushing against a top-10 Clemson run defense that coming in to the game was only allowing 87.9 yards per game on the ground. The flowers will grow back, vibrant as ever. But what Freeman is building in South Bend might be just as effer- vescent. If that's the case, it'll soon be other programs' fans who have reason to storm fields if they beat Notre Dame on home soil. For now, the moonlit madness be- longs to the Irish. "It's not every day you get the oppor- tunity to play in this place, jam-packed with those fans and have an opportunity to beat a top-five team in the country," Freeman said. "It's really special. … I re- ally didn't want to leave that field." Him and the mums both. FIRST QUARTER NOTRE DAME 7, CLEMSON 0 Top Moment: Junior linebacker Jor- dan Botelho shot through the middle of Clemson's line and blocked a punt. Sophomore linebacker Prince Kollie snatched it out of the air and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown. Feature Performer: Senior line- backer JD Bertrand made 4 first-quarter tackles, including snuffing out a short swing pass for a loss of 4 yards to force a third-and-long. Stats: Clemson outgained Notre Dame 56 to 52 in total yards. The teams were a combined 0 of 5 on third down. The Tigers possessed the ball for 8:21. Notre Dame averaged 4.7 yards per play to Clemson's 4.0. Items: Irish junior quarterback Drew Pyne was sacked for the only time all night on the Irish's first series … The Irish forced a turnover on downs on Clemson's second possession of the night … Both teams sputtered offen- sively throughout the frame. SECOND QUARTER NOTRE DAME 14, CLEMSON 0 Top Moment: Pyne kept the ball on a zone-read and plunged into the end zone from 5 yards out to give the Irish a two-touchdown lead with 38 seconds left in the first half. Feature Performer: Sophomore running back Audric Estime ran 11 times for 46 yards in the second quarter. Stats: Notre Dame outgained Clem- son 111 to 15 in total yards. The Irish rushed for 94 yards and picked up 8 first downs to Clemson's 2. The Irish pos- sessed the ball for 10:08 and averaged 5 yards play to the Tigers' 1.5. Items: Graduate student kicker Blake Grupe missed a field goal attempt from 42 yards out with the wind at his back, hooking it wide left … Clemson offen- Sophomore linebacker Prince Kollie's 17-yard touchdown return of a blocked punt gave the Irish a 7-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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