Notre Dame Football

Julian Love | "It Hurts"

December 29, 2018

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Cotton Bowl didn’t go as planned for  No. 3 Notre Dame on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. 

Notre Dame couldn’t find offense, but the defense also couldn’t stop Clemson’s freshman duo of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and receiver Justyn Ross.  

The pair hooked up six times for 148 yards and two touchdowns to put Notre Dame’s national championship hopes away in a 30-3 loss. 

Consensus All-American Julian Love missed most of the first half as he was clearing concussion protocol and Clemson took advantage by scoring 20 points in the second quarter. 

“I'm not sure exactly what it was, but I was trying to get going sooner than they allowed me to,” stated Love. “I was ready shortly before halftime, then we closed out the half and I know I was ready to go right after.” 

Love couldn’t do anything but watch as the Tigers rolled up 265 yards of total offense in the second quarter alone. 

“It hurts,” said Love. “It was hurting me internally because I wanted to be out there. I wanted to help our team. And in a sense, I let them down in that regard. So I tried to do what I could in the second half, but it definitely didn't feel good.” 

Clemson had the best receiver unit the Irish had faced all season, but Love didn’t believe the defense did all they could to slow down the Tigers offense. 

“On defense, we said all season it's not about who we play, it's about what we do,” Love explained. “That's led us to be successful for the whole entire year. And today we got away from that. We got away from what we were doing. We've played big receivers before. We play a variety of different types of receivers. 

“It was just about being our best in our scheme and that's what we failed at tonight. It wasn't necessarily what they were doing. It was lack of attention on our part.” 

While the Irish will finish the season 12-1, Love was proud of what the team accomplished and maybe left an opening for him to return for his senior season. 

“It's been such a fun ride. We have such great characters in that locker room. And it's led by our seniors. They've done so much for us. Drue [Tranquill] deciding to come back. Everyone just allowing us to have fun, allowing us to work. 

“Coach [Clark] Lea really taking charge and really directing us on defense. I know Coach [Chip] Long did the same on offense. It's been a dream this year. It's been so fun. We wish we could keep going and, obviously, end it on a better note. But there's more to come next year.” 

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