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Up Next: Notre Dame vs Clemson

📷 credit: Irish Tribune

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-3) will host the Clemson Tigers (8-0) on Saturday, as Notre Dame seeks to defeat the 5th-ranked team in college football. This will be Notre Dame’s toughest test since they played Ohio State to begin the year. Irish fans are hoping Notre Dame can come out with a victory over the heavily favored Tigers. The task is great, but Notre Dame appears to be ready for the challenge. They have experienced their fair share of ups and down this year, but this game should have been circled for quite some time. This game presents the Irish with an opportunity to make a statement win and confidence to finish out the regular season on a strong note.

Another priority for Notre Dame this weekend will be hosting over 60 recruits from 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 classes. The group will be led by current 2023 commits: Drayk Bowen, Jaden Greathouse, Braylon James, Christian Gray, and Peyton Bowen, as well as several other 2023 commits. Needless to say, this game will go a long way in recruiting this class and future classes to Notre Dame. Coach Marcus Freeman had this to say on Thursday about the big recruiting weekend…

"It's going to be a great environment. I tell them you come to Notre Dame to be part of games like this. The best thing we can do is put on a good performance, but for them to understand this is what Notre Dame is about. You got a chance to be a part of this and the future. It's a big weekend for us. Any time you get these kids on campus, it's important for them to experience this game-day atmosphere. A lot of recruits now take official visits during the summer before they ever get a chance to experience what a game day is like here, especially in South Bend. We want all the kids that come here on campus to really have a great experience, but also understand this is what takes place at Notre Dame. Again, the other part of that is making sure we put on a good performance for them and we execute on the game field."

Game Details

Date: Saturday, November 5

Time: 7:30 PM ET

Where to Watch: NBC/Peacock

📷 credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

Series History

1977 Notre Dame 21-17

1979 Clemson 16-10

2015 Clemson 24-22

2018 Clemson 30-3

2020 Notre Dame 47-40

2020 Clemson 34-10

Breaking Down Clemson

The Tigers are led by head coach Dabo Swinney, as he enters his 15th season at Clemson. Swinney has turned a mediocre Clemson into a perennial title contender during his tenure. After producing players like Trevor Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Deshaun Watson, Hunter Renfrow, Dexter Lawrence, Tee Higgins, Mike Williams, C.J. Spiller, Vic Beasley, and others, Swinney has established himself as being someone who produces NFL talent. Notre Dame will face one of the best, if not the best, defensive lines in the country on Saturday, as many of those players also have a future in the NFL. This is the type of game that could propel either team into the national spotlight.

Stacking Up Notre Dame vs Clemson

Offensive Players to Know

DJ Uiagalelei— QB #5

2022 Stats: 1803 passing yards, 17 touchdowns; 350 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns

Will Shipley— RB #1

2022 Stats: 739 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns; 153 receiving yards

Antonio Williams— WR #0

2022 Stats: 364 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Joseph Ngata— WR #10

2022 Stats: 324 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Defensive Players to Know

Trenton Simpson— LB #22

2022 Stats: 47 tackles, 2 passes defended, .5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Jeremiah Trotter Jr.— LB #54

2022 Stats: 35 tackles, 3 passes defended, .5 sacks, 1 interception

Bryan Bresee — DT #11

2022 Stats: 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Tyler Davis — DT #13

2022 Stats: 21 tackles, 1 pass defended, 4 sacks

Myles Murphy — DE #98

2022 Stats: 26 tackles, 2 passes defended, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

K.J. Henry — DE #5

2022 Stats: 28 tackles, 4 passed defended, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble

📷 credit: @clemsonfb on Instagram

Keys to Victory

Shut Down Clemson Running Back Will Shipley

In order for Notre Dame to make Clemson one-dimensional, the defensive line and linebacker must stop Clemson running back Will Shipley. Coach Freeman had this to say about Shipley on Thursday…

“He's an ultra-competitive individual. I think he runs the ball hard. I think he's fast. I think he has good ball security. He's a wide receiver threat. He looks extremely smart. He has great yards after contact. I could go on and on. I think he's a heck of a football player…He’s an extremely talented football player."

The Offensive Line Must Have Their Best Game of the Year

Because the Clemson defensive line is one of, if not the best, lines in the country, the Notre Dame offensive line must play its best game of the season. This will not be an easy task, but the way these players are starting to play as a unit, Irish fans hope they are ready for the challenge. They need to be excellent at creating running lanes and giving Drew Pyne enough time to throw.

Final Take

If Notre Dame can stop the run game, force DJ into making bad throws, and control the time of possession, they will have a chance to come out victoriously. However, this will not be easy and will require Drew Pyne to play much better than he has in the last couple of weeks. As Irish fans, let us hope that Marcus Freeman has pushed the right buttons this week and will lead his football to victory. Despite winning many games at Notre Dame, these are the types of games that Brian Kelly never seemed to be able to win. Can Freeman change that narrative? Only time will tell, but this Saturday gives him the first opportunity to change that. It’s time to put the fight back in the Fighting Irish!

Go Irish!

📷 credit: Irish Tribune


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