Around the ACC: Week 11 (Football)
The game of the year so far in the ACC certainly did not disappoint. No. 1 Clemson traveled to South Bend to face off with No. 4 Notre Dame, and did so without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Notre Dame came ready to play from the very beginning and took a 23-13 lead going into halftime. Backup quarterback, D.J. Uiagalelei and the Tigers answered back in the third quarter tying the game at 23 heading into the fourth. Travis Etienne punched in a short touchdown with just over three minutes remaining, but the Irish wouldn’t go down lightly.
Quarterback Ian Book threw a dart to Avery Davis across the middle for 53 yards, taking the Irish all the way down to the Clemson four. Book and Davis connected again with 22 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
It only took Uiagalelei and the Tigers two plays to score first in overtime, but Notre Dame returned the favor quickly with just four plays of their own.
In the second overtime, Notre Dame struck first behind Kyren Williams’ three-yard touchdown scamper.
Clemson had a chance to respond, but started its drive taking two sacks. On fourth and 24, Uiagalelei threw a pass short of the first down to Braden Galloway who tried to lateral the ball but the Irish recovered it to cap off the upset and to hand the Tigers their first regular season loss since 2017.
Notre Dame out rushed Clemson 208 to 24, and won the turnover battle three to one. Book finished with 377 total yards and the one touchdown pass at the end of regulation.
Notre Dame fans rushed the field (yes, in the midst of a pandemic), and the whole field was full of fans intermixed with players. The players attempted to get off the field as quickly as possible, and it is still unknown if any of them contracted COVID-19.
Clemson has a bye next week, and Lawrence should be back in action the following week for the Tigers’ matchup with Florida State.
Now No. 2 in the country, Notre Dame travels to Boston College this weekend to face off with the Eagles. Boston College looked unimpressive last week in its showing against Syracuse. The Orange have looked awful so far this season and the Eagles only managed to win by a score of 16-13.
Don’t be surprised if Boston College is able to keep this one close though. The Eagles could catch the Irish sleeping coming off of such a big win. Notre Dame is a 13.5-point favorite.
Miami’s defense struggled on Friday night against NC State, but D’Eriq King and their offense was able to tally 620 total yards in the 44-41 victory. The Hurricanes travel to Blacksburg for a showdown with Virginia Tech this weekend.
Virginia Tech is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Liberty last weekend. The game was tied at 35 when Liberty lined up for a 59-yard field goal attempt, and it was blocked by the Hokies and returned for the game-winning touchdown. But Virginia Tech head coach, Justin Fuente, called a timeout before the kick.
The Flames then decided to throw an out route to shorten the field goal to 51 yards, and Alex Barbir nailed it to secure the victory for Liberty.
No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson are the clear favorites to appear in the ACC Championship game for a rematch, but No. 9 Miami is lurking behind hoping for some slip ups along the way.
Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.