Notre Dame had an opportunity to make a statement in a rematch with Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, but it was Clemson who put the nation on notice in a blowout 34-10 victory in Charlotte.
Trevor Lawrence, who missed the Tigers’ first game against Notre Dame after testing positive for coronavirus, threw for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win, and running back Travis Etienne ran for 124 yards and a touchdown in the triumph.
Ian Book did throw for 218 yards, but struggled through most of the game as Clemson's aggressive pass rush had him scrambling throughout the contest.
Notre Dame was held to 263 yards of offense in the game as Clemson earned revenge for their early season loss in South Bend.
The Irish offense struggled throughout the game against Clemson, with the team going scoreless in the second and third quarters of the contest against a ferocious Tiger attack.
After a long field goal to start out the game for the Irish, Clemson answered quickly and effectively, with Lawrence finding Amari Rodgers for a 67-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes of action.
The second quarter was more of the same for Clemson, with Lawrence finding EJ Williams for a 33-yard score early in the frame. After a field goal, Clemson got another touchdown late in the frame, with Etienne rushing in from 44 yards to put the Tigers ahead 24-3 at the break.
Lawrence took matters into his own hands in the third quarter, with a 34-yard touchdown run, and Clemson’s defense held serve throughout the frame, leaving the team ahead by 28 points with one quarter to go.
The Fighting Irish were able to finally get back on the board in the fourth quarter, as Chris Tyree ran for 21 yards to cap off a seven-play scoring drive to trim the Clemson lead to 34-10. It wasn’t enough however as Notre Dame dropped to 10-1 on the season, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
The Irish will learn their fate on Sunday morning when the College Football Playoff committee announces the four teams that will compete for the national championship in January. Coverage begins at 11 a.m., and will air on ESPN.