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Nov 07, 2020

FINAL (2OT): Notre Dame 47, Clemson 40

No. 1 Clemson Falls to No. 4 Fighting Irish 47-40 in 2OT Thriller

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Top ranked Clemson fell to No. 4 Notre Dame in double overtime by a score of 47-40 on Saturday night. The loss ended Clemson’s record 36-game winning streak against ACC opponents and its FBS record 50-game winning streak on Saturdays.

After the two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime period, Notre Dame punched in a 3-yard touchdown run and the Tigers failed to respond with their possession, ultimately handing them their first loss of the season and dropping them to 7-1 and 6-1 in the ACC.

The loss came despite an incredible statistical performance by freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who threw for 439 yards and two touchdowns in place of Trevor Lawrence. 

The Fighting Irish jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage following a Clemson penalty. The Tigers responded with a 53-yard touchdown bomb from Uiagalelei to Cornell Powell. The redshirt senior totaled a career-high 161 yards on six receptions to go along with his touchdown. 

The second quarter saw the two teams exchange field goals, before an Etienne fumble was recovered by Notre Dame and returned for a touchdown to give the Irish a 20-10 advantage. 

Clemson turned the ball over on the following drive as well, but the Tiger defense held stout and the Irish were forced to settle for a field goal. The Tigers responded with a 45-yard B.T. Potter field goal that cut the deficit to 23-13, a scoreline that remained heading into halftime. 

The Tigers came out of the halftime break firing, scoring 10 unanswered points on another Potter field goal and a 10-yard touchdown reception by Davis Allen. The game-tying score capped a 13-play, 60-yard drive spanning over 6:29 of game time.

The Irish looked to regain the lead on the following drive, but Jake Venables stripped Ian Book on a run that would have set Notre Dame up for first and goal at the Clemson five yard line. The forced fumble was the first of Venables’s career and kept the game in a 23-23 draw entering the final frame. 

Another Notre Dame field goal gave the Irish a 26-23 lead, which was quickly erased by Potter’s career-high fourth field goal of the game.

With 9:14 remaining in the game and the score locked at 26-26, Uiagalelei led the Tigers on a 12-play, 74-yard touchdown drive lasting 5:41 capped by a Travis Etienne three yard touchdown run that gave Clemson the lead.

The Irish turned the ball over on downs, but in their last possession of regulation they cashed in on a 91-yard touchdown drive that sent the game into overtime. Both teams scored touchdowns in the first frame, but when Notre Dame opened the second overtime period with a score, the Tigers took two sacks and ultimately came up short. 

Clemson has an open date next week prior to returning to action against Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday, Nov. 21. Kickoff time and the television information for that game are still to be announced.