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Clemson vs. Notre Dame 2018 Cotton Bowl Film Review- 3rd Quarter

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After taking a 23-3 lead into the half, the Tigers let the defense take over, while Travis Etienne provided the knockout blow

Etienne breaks loose for 3rd quarter TD run
AP Photo

Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson offense exploded for 20 points in the second quarter, giving themselves a comfortable 23-3 lead at the break. The defense, despite missing starting DT Dexter Lawrence, was doing the type of things we have grown accustomed to seeing from this unit. Dexter Williams was finding rushing yards hard to come by and Ian Book was not being allowed any time to get comfortable in the pocket, which was having a huge impact on his accuracy and overall effectiveness. The Tigers had seized control of this one, and had no intent of letting the Irish stage any semblance of the type of second half comeback we saw last time these two teams met.

Clemson Ball, Tiger 25 15:00

After a 3 yard completion to Hunter Renfrow on 1st down, Lawrence hooks up with Tee Higgins for 24 yards on a deep post route.

1st and 10 at the Irish 47 and Lawrence looks for Ross on a quick slant but its batted and nearly picked off. Called an INT initially on the field, replay showed it was indeed incomplete. Travis Etienne tries to get around the left side on 2nd down, but only gets 2, and Lawrence’s 3rd down pass to Higgins is broken up. Lots of contact, no call. Probably should have been. Punt.

5 plays 30 yards 2:04

ND Ball, Irish 13 12:49

Book on the keeper gets 2 on 1st down. Nice open field tackle by K’Von Wallace. Book then hits Miles Boykin on a quick out for 3. On 3rd and 5 Book is forced out of the pocket and scrambles for just enough to move the chains.

1st and 10 from the 19, Ferrell flushes Book out of the pocket, and he scrambles to the left side for 8. On 2nd and 2, Book looks for Boykin downfield and AJ Terrell is flagged for pass interference.

1st and 10 at the Irish 42, and Dexter Williams picks up 8 on a draw. Book takes off on another scramble on 2nd down, picks up 6 and moves the sticks.

1st and 10 at the Tiger 38, and Book looks for Boykin downfield, and AJ Terrell breaks it up. Ball is underthrown a bit, and is probably 7 if Book puts it out in front of him

2nd and 10 and Austin Bryant gets flagged for offsides. 2nd and 5 and Book hits Alize Mack on a short crossing route, gain of 3, and another great tackle by Wallace. 3rd and 7, after a ND false start and Book is flushed and sacked by Isaiah Simmons and Christian Wilkins. Xavier Thomas applied the initial pressure.

ND punts, and downs it at the Tiger 2.

9 plays 50 yards, 4:41

Clemson Ball, Tiger 2 8:09

Etienne takes the 1st down carry and picks up 2 up the middle. Lawrence hits Ross on an out route, gain of 11.

1st and 10 at the Tiger 15 and Etienne bounces out to the right, and picks up 10.

1st and 10 at the Tiger 25 and Lawrence is sacked for a loss of 7. Etienne was not able to pick up the blitzing LB. Lawrence’s 2nd down pass is off Milan Richard’s hands. 3rd and long and Lawrence has to scramble and throw it away. Punt.

6 plays 16 yards 2:26

ND Ball, Irish 40 5:49

1st and 15 after a false start and Williams beats Simmons to the corner and picks up 11. 2nd and 4, play action and Nyles Pinckney forces Book up into the pocket and to throw the ball away. Williams gets 7 on 3rd and 4, running behind the LG, who had Albert Huggins sealed off.

1st and 10 at the Tiger 47 and Book hits Boykin down the left sideline, gain of 20.

1st and 10 at the Tiger 27, and Book is forced to scramble yet again, and loses a yard. Wilkins and Bryant with the pressure and its Bryant that gets him from behind. 2nd and 12 and Bryant comes off the edge unblocked. Book is sacked.

3rd and long and we get this gem from Nolan Turner

That one just might be worthy of another look

7 plays 22 yards 2:44

Clemson Ball, Tiger 29 2:52

Etienne with the carry, picks up 6 up the middle. The Irish D looks to be getting tired. WR screen to Overton on 2nd down picks up 3. 3rd and 1, a tired Irish D, and Travis is free. Untouched, 62 yards.

3 plays 71 yards 1:01

Clemson 30 ND 3

ND Ball, Irish 25 1:57

1st down run from Williams picks up 6. Williams picks up 8 more on second down to move the chains.

1st and 10 at the Irish 39 and Book’s pass to Mack on a short out route is incomplete. On 2nd down Xavier Thomas and Justin Foster both get Williams in the backfield, loss of 4. 3rd and long and Book hits Tyler Newsome on a short crossing route, but only gets 4. Simmons clearly takes the ball from Newsome before he hits the ground but the Tigers are not allowed to review the play. Officials claim forward progress had stopped, although you never hear any whistle. Flimsy.

5 plays 14 yards

End of quarter