The Clemson Tigers have made a major statement. They belong in the college football playoff.
After a game that the Tigers led by double digits for the vast majority of, the question may not just be if this team can win the ACC, but can this team make the playoff and potentially win it all?! I certainly think so.
The scoring started with a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson to Jordan Leggett to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead. He added another one to Artavis Scott for a 13-yard score to make it 14-0. Surprisingly Watson would only have 97 yards passing on the night, coupled with a rushing touchdown later in the game.
Notre Dame would only manage a 46-yard field goal in the first half. The Irish had four costly turnovers to Clemson’s one in the ball game. The first half ended on a 14-3 margin.
The third quarter started with an early Watson rushing touchdown for 21-yards that brought the score to 21-3. Then the fourth quarter started and things got a little too close for comfort.
Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer opened the fourth with a 56-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Prosise to bring the Irish to 21-9. Unfortunately the Two-Point Conversion failed. The Tigers Greg Huegel had a 35-yard field goal to extend the Clemson lead to 24-9. The Irish stormed back with two quick scores. A Kizer three-yard run for a touchdown to make it 24-16, and another Kizer touchdown pass, this time a 1-yard passing touchdown to Torri Hunter Jr. (yes the son of the Twins baseball star) to get Notre Dame within two.
The ending was definitely interesting. Kizer didn’t perform too terribly as he had 321 yards passing and 60 yards rushing. However, Notre Dame may have just kicked themselves out of the playoff. Not being in a major conference will definitely work against the Irish.
As for Clemson they looked great and are the clear favorite in the ACC after seeing #8 Florida State struggle to a 24-16 win over Wake Forest. Maybe a trip to Arlington is in the Tigers near future.