The Clemson Tigers (13-0) will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0) in the Cotton Bowl. Here’s a look at who has the advantage.
We’ve waited for nearly a month for the Cotton Bowl to arrive.
Clemson will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for a chance at advancing to the National Championship game. Should the Tigers win, they’ll advance to the National Title game for a third year in the past four.
Here’s a look at who has the advantage heading into the matchup.
When Clemson has the ball…
I expect that the Tigers could have a bit of trouble moving the ball on the ground early.
Notre Dame is going to stack the box and try to take away the run game and pressure Trevor Lawrence. The Irish’s game plan is going to look very similar to that of Boston College and some of the other defenses the Tigers have faced this year.
The offensive success will rest, at least partially, on Trevor Lawrence’s shoulders. If he can find open targets and refrain from making freshman mistakes, the Tigers will be fine.
I expect Clemson to be able to move the ball and take care of business.
When Notre Dame has the ball…
I think Notre Dame is going to have to throw the ball well in order to have a chance in this one.
The Tigers haven’t given up a ton of rushing yards to anyone all season and that’s a credit to those interior linemen and those linebackers.
Obviously, Clemson will be without- most likely- Dexter Lawrence for this one, but I don’t think that changes much as far as what the game plan’s going to be. The key for the Tigers is going to be staying strong in the secondary and forcing Notre Dame to find tight holes in the secondary.
I expect the Irish to score some points, but I expect the Tigers to stop them more times than not.
Advantage: Slight to Clemson
Honestly, special teams haven’t been great this season for the Tigers. Clemson hasn’t punted the ball well consistently and the Tigers have missed medium-range field goals at times.
The most consistent part of the special teams has been the kickoff game in which BT Potter has done an excellent job booting the ball into the end zone. I think his leg will be at full-strength in this one and we’ll see him putting the ball through the back of the end zone after seemingly losing a bit of that power as the season progressed.
Notre Dame is 45th in the nation in special teams efficiency compared to the Tigers’ 67th. I give a slight edge here to the Fighting Irish.
Advantage: Slight to Notre Dame
In the end, it’s going to come down to which team can pass the ball better and who wins the turnover battle. Refrain from making mistakes and hold on to the football. If Clemson can do that, the Tigers will have a great chance at winning the game Saturday afternoon in Dallas.