The Notre Dame Fighting Irish went up 3-0 early against the Clemson Tigers on a 51 yard field goal from Jonathan Doerer. Kyle Hamilton intercepted Trevor Lawrence via a Drew White tip on the next drive, and the Irish drove the ball down to the Clemson 5 yard line.
This is where the good news ends.
The Irish failed to punch the ball into the endzone, and Doerer missed a 24 yard FG... and the floodgates opened.
Clemson scored touchdowns on its next two drives that combined for 9 plays for 152 yards that took all of 3:45 off of the clock. The first touchdown was a 67 yard strike to Amari Rodgers, and the second was a 33 yard pass to from Lawrence to E.J. Williams.
Notre Dame continued to struggle in the second quarter. Even after Clemson knocked in a field goal to make it 17-3, there was still hope with over 4 minutes left in the half that the Irish could drive down for a score to lighten the load for the second half. Instead, another go-nowhere-drive gave the ball back to Clemson, and they went 88 yards in 10 plays for a 44 yard TD from Travis Etienne.
It was demoralizing, and although the Irish defense started to contain the Clemson offense, Notre Dame was forced to punt on its next 3 drives that amounted to just 26 yards.
Chris Tyree finally got the Irish into the endzone with a 21 yard TD run to cap a 75 yard drive from the Irish, but it still only made the game 34-10. Clemson kept its first string out there until about 5 minutes left, but the rest of the game was just a slow fizzling out by ND.
Ian Book struggled all day as he was under consistent pressure with receivers covered downfield the entire game.
Of course this game — the way it was played — creates a problem for the Irish with the college football playoff committee. Is the Notre Dame resume at 10-1 enough to get a playoff berth, or will they be heading to the Orange Bowl?
That’s a question that will be answered soon enough, but for right now, there is no ACC title for Notre Dame in their one and only year.