Notre Dame’s unbeaten season breeds optimism. An opponent the standard of Clemson tempers that into wary optimism, nevertheless it stays a tumbler half-full outlook, nevertheless. Taking into consideration current Irish historical past in opposition to foes of the Tigers’ degree, that can be unexpected, however as fifth-year linebacker Drue Tranquill mentioned Sunday, “This group is other. This group isn’t the ‘12 group. This group isn’t the ‘15 group. … I assume we’ll to find out on December 29.”
Glance, Drue, your level isn’t improper, however this is 25 days away. We’re going to speculate till then …
Is Clemson prone to the Irish or is that this simply me wishing it had been so? — nmmargie
On the possibility of answering an “or” query with one phrase, sure.
Extra in-depth, let’s observe each a real-world instance and a statistical one. The previous comes from most-recent historical past: In analysis getting ready for the season finale at USC, it was once tough to seek out any house of the sport wherein the Trojans will have to have outdone Notre Dame. There was once not anything that presented any far off indication USC had the talents important to carry up in opposition to the Irish. But, now not most effective did it, it did to be able to the level questions like this now are available in …
Do you suppose having noticed USC’s playmakers will assist within the preparation for the blazing velocity and nice athletes of the following recreation? — Gary H.
The Trojan assault would possibly not assist in preparation; Notre Dame knew it had a nickel deficiency lengthy prior to J.T. Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown broadcast it to the sector. Clemson knew it, too, or quickly will as soon as Dabo Swinney spends any time looking at tape of the Irish victory at Virginia Tech.
To respond to Gary’s query prior to getting again to Margie’s, if there was once any Irish get advantages to suffering at USC, it got here at the different aspect of the ball. Notre Dame’s offensive line were given a style of an competitive and succesful blitz, and it learned how a lot paintings must be executed to rise up in opposition to such. That splash of chilly water would possibly assist with center of attention over the following month. 4 first- or second-year starters will want to be as much as the duty of blockading what is basically an NFL line of defense.
“You’ve were given to give protection to,” Irish head trainer Brian Kelly mentioned Sunday. “If you’ll be able to give protection to, you’ll be able to get the ball out. There’s a possibility. But when you’ll be able to’t, nice success to you, you’re going to be at the flooring half of the day.”
Now again to Margie — Is Clemson prone? Notre Dame didn’t appear to be when it went to Los Angeles, now not in opposition to that model of USC. In a different way got here to be true, because it ceaselessly does on this game.
In regards to the Tigers particularly, the complex numbers aren’t type to Irish hopes.
Relatively frankly, Notre Dame has now not confronted a passing protection remotely related to Clemson’s. With junior Ian E-book at quarterback, the nearest factor can have been USC’s, ranked No. 33 via S&P+ numbers, a a long way cry from the Tigers’ No. 6. If disposing of the inane 38-yard “Hail Mary” to finish that first half of, E-book went 21-of-38 for 314 yards and two touchdowns in opposition to the Trojans with one interception. That was once his lowest finishing touch proportion of the season and his moment consecutive recreation with an interception and 5th out of six.
The one speeding protection remotely analogous to Clemson’s (No. 1) was once Michigan’s (No. 10), however with senior Brandon Wimbush at quarterback and senior working again Dexter Williams suspended, this is an inexact comparability. Northwestern’s No. 19 score could also be extra actual, a unit that held the Irish to three.Zero yards according to raise on 40 makes an attempt.
And to be transparent, the Tigers protection set those requirements whilst dealing with opposing offenses higher than Notre Dame’s. Via the top of the yr, Pittsburgh had one of the vital easiest speeding offenses within the nation, completing No. 11 within the S&P+ class, a long way forward of the Irish mark of No. 74. The Panthers won 191 yards on 48 carries in opposition to Clemson on Saturday, hardly ever environment friendly.
We will do that, proper? Or am I simply ingesting an excessive amount of Kool-Assist? — @dothedrew25
Nonetheless, sure. The debatable vulnerability — and once more, an idea that might now not really be discovered heading to USC, even supposing that can have derived from the loss of high quality Trojans warring parties developing viable information — comes within the Tigers’ passing assault, led via freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Notre Dame intends to bear in mind his formative years.
“We at all times discuss simply making them line up and snap it as time and again as conceivable,” Tranquill mentioned. “… If an offense goes to get happening us, we don’t wish to surrender explosive performs. … You’ve noticed time and again this yr, we’ve taken on water however they’ll get down and finally end up lacking a box objective or one thing, and we’ll get our offense again at the box.
“We at all times discuss making him snap as time and again as conceivable to get it into the top zone.”
Lawrence has led the No. 27 passing offense within the nation if nonetheless deferring to S&P+’s numbers, however the most productive passing defenses he confronted had been No. 34 Duke and No. 35 South Carolina. The Irish cross protection is rated No. eight.
Lawrence had good fortune in the ones two video games, finishing 64.nine % of his passes for 644 yards and 3 touchdowns and not using a interceptions, however neither was once as aimed at a bend-don’t-break technique as Notre Dame’s is.
The Irish have held arguably higher aerial assaults in test. Stanford (No. 7) threw for all of 174 yards, averaging a mediocre 6.44 yards according to strive. Virginia Tech (No. 26) won 309 yards during the air, however nonetheless inefficiently at five.94 yards according to strive. If Notre Dame hems in Lawrence and makes Clemson one-dimensional offensively, then perhaps that Kool-Assist’s sugar top was once now not totally deceptive.
Defensive position intensity has been key to somewhat a couple of Irish wins this season. Are we able to wait for Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa’s go back to the lineup for the Cotton Bowl? — goirishgo
After all, goirishgo requested this lengthy prior to Kelly mentioned Sunday that the sophomore defensive take on has been cleared for observe, however it’s too quickly to understand how a lot he’ll be capable to give a contribution. The query nonetheless warrants remembering, as Tagovailoa-Amosa’s go back most effective provides to an already deep line of defense, the precise unit that may make Lawrence’s existence tough sufficient to start out the method of proscribing him.
The Irish turned around 8 defensive linemen this season. A 9th would possibly appear pointless, but when Tagovailoa-Amosa can produce on 8 snaps within the first 3 quarters, the ones are 8 fewer snaps tiring Jerry Tillery’s legs on a pivotal fourth-quarter force.
With the long run contributors of the Elegance of 2027 having completed their seasons, what are some affect eighth-graders Irish religion—JUST KIDDING!!
The duty forward of Notre Dame within the Playoff seems to be daunting, even if straining to have a look at probably the most positive eventualities. As an American moviegoer, alternatively, I’ve been raised on narratives suggesting overcoming not possible odds isn’t just conceivable however nearly inevitable so long as the “nice guys” have sufficient pluck, grit and resolution. What are some feel-good, come-from-behind tales Irish fanatics will have to watch to emotionally get ready for the Playoff video games? “Miracle” appears to be probably the most very similar to the existing scenario (faculty children, unstoppable group in pink), however that may well be too at the nostril. Every other nice motion pictures which might be related to the current scenario? — Pete E., Indianapolis
That started off on a perilous trail.
Given his town of place of abode, Peter is clearly fishing for a “Hoosiers” reference. However that doesn’t appear appropriate. Who would Shooter Flatch be? What’s the soccer model of a wooden fence? Would Justin Yoon must get on Sam Mustipher’s shoulders to the touch the goalposts to turn all soccer fields are the similar measurement?
No. This feels extra like a tale of an surprising team assembly an unstoppable drive from which there’s no break out, the use of leading edge, if now not questionable, solution to pull off the wanted end result. A gaggle with a chairman within the trade for 3 many years who’s most effective the most productive as a result of he works with the most productive. A gaggle rallying in the back of a pace-setter first of all sidelined, using during the iron wall, albeit with inconsistency. A gaggle written off via the powers at be most effective to be successful on the very finish.
You understand, “Armageddon.” Perhaps this was once slightly little bit of a good judgment stretch.
INSIDE THE IRISH READING
— Notre Dame’s Warring parties: 8 bowl eligible
— Issues We Realized: E-book, Williams, Lea the adaptation between Notre Dame’s preseason and 12-Zero
— Championship Saturday: Who will have to Notre Dame fanatics cheer for?
— The Playoff is ready; Notre Dame attracts Clemson
— Notre Dame will get what it anticipated with Clemson matchup
— Cotton Bowl preview: Notre Dame and Clemson’s redemption tales conflict
— Each Faculty Soccer Playoff group’s largest matchup benefits
— Why is it so laborious for brand spanking new groups to make the Faculty Soccer Playoff?
— Book place provides ‘uNDefeated’ products to rejoice Irish victory
— Bob Davie to go back for 2019 season, New Mexico confirms
— Seahawks position C.J. Prosise on injured reserve
— Notre Dame’s simple agenda (Caution: Have a humorousness)