“Rewind II”

Saturday Spotlight- ACC Championship

(3) Clemson Tigers at (2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Clemson: I think we all just expect them to be great every year. That’s exactly what Dabo Swinney expects from them and they perform. The one thing I haven’t been used to seeing is a number in the loss column. Usually, as the season is ending, they’re always one of the few undefeated teams. You see just how valuable Trevor Lawrence is to this team. Since he’s become the starting quarterback, Clemson hasn’t lost in the regular season. Even when he came back after testing positive for COVID, he didn’t miss a beat. As I stated a few weeks ago, DJ will win you games and can get you by, but with Trevor, you have a chance to get to championship games and win. It’s that simple. The day before our “Selection Sunday”, they have some unfinished business to take care of in Charlotte.

Notre Dame: I’ll admit this to you. It took me a while to give them credit. After watching them more consistently, I became sold. Every test people have screamed for them to pass, they’ve done it. I’ve made my case for them being ranked number one. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have done what none of the others can do. That’s defeat the-then number one ranked team in the nation. But, in comes the saying “well, they beat Clemson without Trevor Lawrence”. I get mad when I hear that because a win over number one is still a win over number one. Plain and simple. The offense can beat you in many ways with Ian Book and they have a defense that can clamp down and limit any offense. Today, it’s part two with the Clemson Tigers for the ACC title.

Clemson X-Factor: Travis Etienne– This is why you come back for one more season. For games of this magnitude. He’s the veteran leader of this offense who quietly handles his business. It’s the way he breaks tackles to get his yards. Travis can beat you as both a runner and a passer. I’m ready to see him impact this game.

Notre Dame X-Factor: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah– I love the motor on this kid. He brings intensity to this Irish defense. In other words, he’s the tone-setter that each defense in football has. Wherever the football is, you’ll see number six in the area of the ball. Jeremiah has great closing speed and he also plays from sideline to sideline.

Final Thoughts: The first meeting between these two had me on the edge of my seat. Over a month later, here we are with these two once again with the ACC title on the line! The Fighting Irish will need a big game from Ian Book. His late-game heroics put Notre Dame over the top in the regular season. Clemson must be better in the secondary. Their defense must also keep Ian in that pocket. This will be a battle!

Prediction: Clemson 33 Notre Dame 31

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