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Notre Dame Football

ISD Game Predictions | Notre Dame-Clemson II

December 18, 2020

It’s Friday again, and that means game prediction time once again!  Notre Dame will face Clemson in a rematch of their epic November battle in South Bend, but this time it’s for the ACC Championship and rights to the College Football Playoff.  Clemson will be feeling the pressure to beat the Irish to be assured a spot in the playoff and the Irish need the win as well to make sure they don’t somehow get pushed out if they lose.  Which team comes out on top?

Mike Frank

I’m a superstitious guy.  I don’t tempt fate and I don’t disturb the force.  I have a nice theater room in my house to watch football, and I can’t even watch the Irish in that room because every time I do, they play like crap.  As soon as I leave, they start playing well.

My son has worn the same shirt every game this year and every game since the Irish last lost.  He’s wearing that shirt on Saturday come hell or high water.  I will staple it to his 10-year-old body if I have to. 

A very good friend of mine offered to fly me down to the game and watch the game with him in the stadium in his skybox.  I aint going because every time I attend one of these big games on the road, they lose. 

And I picked against the Irish last time, and you’re damn sure I’m doing it again, and this better freaking work!

Clemson 43, Notre Dame 41

Christian McCollum

Trevor Lawrence gives the Tigers a boost, but he isn’t necessarily THE difference in this one.

Ian Book continues his stellar play and the Irish defense plays inspired defense days after learning their leader will be departing.

This is simply a well-played game between two of the best teams in the country. It comes down to what it always does in those instances, who makes the most plays and this time, it’s the Tigers who do.

(Plus, if you think I’m going to mess with The JOHN BRICE Juju, you don’t know me very well.)

Clemson 31, Notre Dame 27

John Brice

If I only listened to conventional wisdom, this week's ACC Championship discussions (or Matt Freeman), I'd think Notre Dame lost the first time around against Clemson.

The Irish won it. They controlled the game. They never should have gone into overtime. They left points on the board.

Sure, Trevor Lawrence did not play. A couple key Clemson defenders did not play. And guess what? Notre Dame has had to completely overhaul its wide receivers corps this year, dealing with injuries there in the process, and also now has a bit of a retooled offensive line.

I absolutely think Notre Dame is and should be a College Football Playoffs selection, win or lose.

I believe Notre Dame has the ability to make moot that speculation. Moreover, I think if Notre Dame wins the ACC title, it absolutely has to be the No. 1 seed in the CFP.

I'll take the Irish in a vastly lower-scoring rematch.

Notre Dame 27, Clemson 24

Matt Freeman

Clemson and Notre Dame have plenty of reasons to enter Saturday's game with supreme confidence. Believe it or not, Clemson returning players from injury matters, including the Irish facing the best player in college football this time around. Notre Dame has its own issue as Jarrett Patterson won't be in the mix as Josh Lugg or Zeke Correll look to replace him at center.

Out of all the matchups, I think this game comes down to Notre Dame's center being able to hold up against Clemson interior, which includes defensive tackle, Tyler Davis. If Notre Dame can't block Davis, it will cause problems across the board as he can change a game by himself.

I think Clark Lea can maximize his defense, but don't expect Travis Etienne to rush for 28 yards again. Notre Dame has to stop the run. Clemson running and passing is a nightmare. If Notre Dame can hold Etienne under 100 yards, I think they win. If not, it might be a long evening.

In the end, I could see either team winning, but I think Clemson takes this one for the sole fact Trevor Lawrence will be able to capitalize on small mistakes by the Irish defense where DJ Uiagalelei didn't, despite throwing for over 400 yards. It might not be 40-yard bombs, but it can be 12-yard completion on 3rd-and-8. Key plays here and there will be the difference. Notre Dame's cornerbacks have to make some plays in this one.

Clemson 31, Notre Dame 27

Jamie Uyeyama

Notre Dame is somehow 10.5 point underdogs heading into this game, which seems like way too high of a number. I understand Clemson being favored, Trevor Lawrence has lost exactly once in his college career, but double digits is a bit too strong in my opinion.

I do think this is a game that could go either way and unless Notre Dame's pass rush is significantly better than it was in the previous game, Clemson is going to put up over 30 points. I expect Notre Dame's offense to put up over 30 again as well, though.

I don't think James Skalski is going to be close to 100%. He hasn't looked like the same player since he returned after the Notre Dame game. Tyler Davis, who also missed the first matchup, hasn't played like the player he looked like from a year ago too. So they are getting those players back, but I don't believe either is a game wrecker.

The Irish will control the line of scrimmage again and Ian Book will make enough plays to pull out a win.

Notre Dame 37, Clemson 34

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