The Clemson football team blasted Notre Dame in the CFB Playoff semifinal game Saturday afternoon. The Tigers are heading to the National Championship.
There were doubters.
There were people saying that Clemson football wasn’t for real and how Notre Dame would expose that Tiger defense.
That clearly didn’t happen Saturday afternoon in the Cotton Bowl when the Tigers blasted the Irish 30-3 in the CFB Playoff semifinal.
With the win, Clemson improved to 14-0 on the season and will play the winner of Alabama-Oklahoma in the National Championship game, which will take place in Santa Clara.
Trevor Lawrence finished the day 27-of-39 for 327 yards passing and three touchdowns. Travis Etienne led the Tigers in rushing with 109 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown while Justyn Ross led Clemson in receiving with six catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
You have to tip your cap to Clemson football. Trevor Lawrence played a near-flawless game. He didn’t make too many mistakes and put the ball right on the money for the most part.
Justyn Ross was absolutely dominant. The true-freshman was a monster and made two enormous catches that shaped the entirety of the game. Tee Higgins was a great counterpart to Ross, making his fair share of impressive plays as well.
That run game with Travis Etienne wasn’t working early, but the Tigers never gave up on it. In the second half, Etienne exploded for a huge touchdown run and it was clear that the Clemson offense wore the Notre Dame defense down to the point where they were pretty much able to pick and choose their plays from late in the third quarter through the fourth.
Defensively, Clemson’s defense was very impressive.
Everyone came in questioning the defensive backfield. While the secondary still gave up a few chunk plays, I think they played really well. There were several instances where you saw the Tigers in excellent coverage and I think the unit looked improved from where they were before. Now, there’s still room for improvement and part of the secondary’s success had to do with the defensive line.
The defensive line created pressure all night and made Ian Book uncomfortable. It was absolutely a think of beauty and it’s clear that the Tigers were ready to play when they arrived in Dallas.
Make sure you check back here at Rubbing the Rock for more updates, analysis and coverage as Clemson football prepares for its trip to Santa Clara.