Down Goes No. 1, Clemson


Olivia Agostino, Staff Writer

Previously fourth ranked, Notre Dame, took on the top team in the nation this past weekend, defeating the Clemson Tigers 47-40 in an upset double overtime game.  As the Irish got ready to kickoff in South Bend, Notre Dame stadium roared with students, parents and faculty fans.  No one could have asked for a better November evening to play one of the biggest games in Notre Dame history in almost thirty years.  This victory places Notre Dame at number two in the AP Top 25 rankings, in the driver’s seat to make the College Football Playoffs in 2021.  Despite the fact that the Irish were the underdogs going into Saturday’s match, they did not disappoint.

The Notre Dame defense came up with some big stops late in the game, shutting down one of the best running backs in the country; Clemson’s own, Travis Etienne.  Etienne is on track to be a first round pick in the draft next spring, but the Irish had him on lockdown Saturday night, only giving up a total of 28 yards on 18 carries.  Less than 2 yards a carry is something head coach, Brian Kelly, commended his team for after the game.  Not only did it take talent to win on Saturday night, but hard work and the will to win to beat the number one team in the country.  

The Notre Dame offense is mentored by former Irish quarterback, Tommy Rees who now serves as the team’s offensive coordinator.  After hiring Rees, head coach Kelly said, “Tom’s ability to connect with our players and staff and accepting and embracing the incredible opportunity in being the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame made him the right choice. While Tom’s leadership ability and knowledge of the game was evident, it was his humble approach to his own development and desire to continue to grow and learn that were also key factors that set him apart in a talented pool of candidates.”  Rees is in his first season as offensive coordinator and has led the offense very well so far, starting off with a 7-0 season.  

The Irish are getting lots of attention, not only for their impressive victory over the number one powerhouse but for the celebration that took place on the field after the game.  Notre Dame students stormed the field after Saturday’s win, creating a magnet for media attention.  The University made national headlines after students disregarded the University’s Covid-19 health and safety guidelines by storming the field after the conclusion of the second overtime period.  President, Fr. John Jenkins stated he was, “disappointed to have seen disregard of health protocols at gatherings following the Irish win against Clemson.”  As new and stricter protocols have been put in place,  Notre Dame students must test negative for the virus before they are released to leave campus for Thanksgiving Break.  Students who do not show up for their required Covid-19 test will have a hold put on their account, and will not be able to register for spring classes.  These guidelines have been put into effect to stop the spread of the virus.  

Regardless of protocols, the Irish certainly still have a victory to be proud of but need to continue to work for the remainder of their season.  The team continues their ACC play, taking on Boston College this coming weekend.  Kickoff will be at 3:30 from Alumni Stadium in Boston.  The game will air on ABC network, so tune in to cheer on the Irish!