Charlotte, North Carolina:
A rematch for the ages will take place on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Clemson Tigers get ready to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The first matchup between these two programs was an instant classic as the Irish defeated Clemson in double OT by a score of 47-40.
In the first matchup, Clemson was without Trevor Lawerance due to Covid-19. In that matchup, Notre Dame took advantage of the inexperience at QB and outlasted the Tigers. Expect Trevor Lawerance to be the difference-maker in Saturday’s ACC Championship game. Since the return of Trevor Lawerence, the Tigers have gone on to score 97 points and 1,014 total yards in two games.
For Clemson, they will have to figure out how to stop the winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history in Ian Book. As a starter, Ian Book is 30-3, including a 47-40 win over Clemson back on November 7th in South Bend.
For Notre Dame, the one season in the ACC has been a gigantic success as a lot of the ACC records have been shattered. Including one particular set by Javon McKinley, who has four 100 yard receiving games.
The Notre Dame defense has only given up 17.1 points per game, which ranks within the top five nationally.
So what can fans expect from Saturday’s rematch?
For Clemson, they face a must-win situation to get into the College Football Playoffs. Another loss to Notre Dame would essentially eliminate Clemson from the playoffs. Expect Head Coach Dabo Swinney to have his team ready for a fight. Clemson’s chances begin and end with Trevor Lawerance. If Lawerance and the Clemson offense can manage to control the tempo of the game, then Clemson wins, and two ACC teams make the College Football Playoffs.
For Notre Dame, they’re playing with house money on Saturday afternoon. Either way, the Irish are playoff-bound. A win would give Notre Dame their first and only conference championship.
Clemson and Notre Dame will kick off Saturday on ABC with a 4:00 start time. On the call for the ACC Championship Game will be Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Maria Taylor.