It is official. On December 29th, Clemson will battle Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl for the right to play in the National Championship. Kickoff times haven’t been announced, but the Tigers will play at either 4pm EST on ESPN.
Both teams will enter this matchup with unblemished records. Notre Dame boasts a record of 12-0, while Clemson is 13-0.
In their last game, the Fighting Irish edged out the USC Trojans by a final score of 24-14.
In the Tigers’ last game, they blew out Pittsburgh in the ACC championship.
Clemson currently holds the slim edge in head-to-head matchups against the Irish. The Tigers lead the all time series 2-1. The last time these two teams met was in 2015 when Clemson beat Notre Dame in Death Valley. In what seemed like a hurricane.
This one will be a little different in AT&T Stadium. Though many projected Clemson to the Orange Bowl, Michigan’s loss to Ohio State gave Oklahoma an opening into the playoff. Because of the Sooners’ proximity to Dallas, the committee felt it would give the 4 seed an unfair advantage and decided to move the Alabama - Oklahoma match up to the Orange Bowl.
Key to the game
It is never too early to dive into this intriguing matchup and name the one thing that Clemson must do to win. In order to win, the Tigers will need to slow down Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams. Ever since Williams rejoined the Fighting Irish after a suspension, the ND offense has improved exponentially. In the Irish’s first four games of the season, without Williams, the offense put up 126 points. In the first four games with Williams, the ND offense put up 146 points. The Notre Dame offense goes as Dexter Williams goes, it will be extremely vital for the Clemson defensive line to step up and slow down Williams.
This should be a fantastic game that will likely come down to the wire. Two great teams, pitted against each other for the opportunity to play for a championship. December 29th can not come soon enough.