No. 4 Notre Dame knocks off No. 1 Clemson in a double-OT classic
Kyren Williams rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner in the second overtime, as No. 4 Notre Dame knocked off No. 1 and previously undefeated Clemson 47-40 Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium.
Clemson was playing its second consecutive game without quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence as well as three defensive starters, and it showed. Williams split the Clemson defense for a 65-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game and the Fighting Irish battled the Tigers on even terms from there.
It was Notre Dame’s third victory all-time at home over a No. 1-ranked team and ended Clemson’s 28-game winning streak against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. Notre Dame moved into sole possession of first place in the ACC at 7-0 overall and 6-0 in league play while Clemson slipped to 7-1, 6-1.
It was Notre Dame’s 23rd consecutive home victory.
The teams went into overtime tied at 33 and Clemson scored first, with freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei plunging in from the 1-yard line. But Williams scored on 3-yard runs on back-to-back overtime possessions and the Fighting Irish defense sacked Uiagalelei twice on the Tigers’ final possession to essentially end Clemson’s hopes.
Quarterback Ian Book completed 22 of 39 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown for Notre Dame.
Uiagalelei completed 29-of-44 passes for a career-high 439 yards. Lawrence, who has been sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, is expected to be back in the lineup when Clemson plays at Florida State on Nov. 20.
Jonathan Doerer added the first of his four field goals to push the Fighting Irish lead to 10-0 before Clemson’s offense began to show signs of life.
Uiagalelei threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Cornell Powell in the first quarter, but Notre Dame pulled ahead 20-10 late in the first half when linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah snatched a fumbled pitch by Travis Etienne out of the air and rambled 23 yards for a touchdown. The teams swapped field goals in the final three minutes and the Fighting Irish led at the half 23-13.
Clemson scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter to tie the game at 23. B.T. Potter had a 46-yard field goal and Uiagalelei found tight end Davis Allen for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The teams swapped field goals again early in the fourth quarter before Clemson went on a 12-play, 74-yard drive to take the lead on a three-yard run by Etienne with 3:33 remaining.
But the Fighting Irish responded with an eight-play, 91-yard drive that culminated with a four-yard touchdown pass from Book to Avery Davis with 22 seconds left to tie the game again at 33.
Etienne was held to only 28 yards on 18 carries, but Uiagalelei helped compensate with another impressive performance, thanks in large part to a couple of veteran wide receivers.
Senior Amari Rodgers had eight receptions for 134 yards while fellow senior Powell had six receptions for 162 yards, including a 24-yard reception to set up Uiagalelei’s overtime TD run.
Notre Dame’s Javon McKinley had five catches for 102 yards.
–Field Level Media