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Clemson defeats Notre Dame, 30-3, in NCAA Cotton Bowl – Fox News
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Clemson defeats Notre Dame, 30-3, in NCAA Cotton Bowl – Fox News

Clemson celebrates their 30-3 win against Notre Dame in the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-final playoff football game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Clemson celebrates their thirty-three earn in opposition to Notre Dame in the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-last playoff football video game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Picture/Jeffrey McWhorter)

When Clemson’s Dabo Swinney entrusted a group with championship aspirations to freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence in September, this is what the Tigers’ mentor had in brain.

Lawrence threw for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson beat No. 3 Notre Dame 30-three on Saturday in the Cotton Bowl to arrive at the College or university Football Playoff title video game. The Tigers (fourteen-) will engage in possibly No. one Alabama — for a fourth straight season in the playoff — or No. four Oklahoma on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, California.

“This is what we came right here to do,” Swinney mentioned. “This senior group just gained their 54th video game and they’re going back again to their 3rd countrywide championship in four decades.”

Clemson’s overpowering and skilled defensive line, led by finishes Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, smothered Ian Guide and the Preventing Irish (twelve-one), holding them to 248 yards. “Our guys, they received it performed in the trenches,” Swinney stated.

On offense, freshmen led the way. Lawrence, earning his 10th career get started, was 27 for 39 and did not toss an interception against a Notre Dame protection that had been one of the finest on the state. Freshman receiver Justyn Ross experienced six catches for 148 yards and two lengthy touchdowns.

The Irish hung around for a quarter, with the team’s exchanging field targets. But early in the next quarter, Notre Dame All-The usa cornerback Julian Really like went out with what coach Brian Kelly explained immediately after the video game was a head harm and Lawrence started taking apart the Irish secondary.

Lawrence hooked up with Ross on a deep throw down the sideline and the huge receiver defeat Love’s backup, Donte Vaughn, for a tackle-breaking, 52-property rating early in the 2nd quarter. The Irish looked as if they could possibly be able to maintain it shut to halftime, but the offense couldn’t preserve that ferocious Clemson front, even with no suspended star tackle Dexter Lawrence, out of the backfield.

In the final two minutes, Trevor Lawrence connected with Ross on a 42-lawn rating and with Tee Higgins for a 1-handed, 19-garden landing reception — once more in excess of Vaughn — with two seconds remaining in the second quarter. Lawrence was 13 for fifteen for 229 yards in the quarter.

That created it 23-three at 50 percent and once again the Combating Irish appeared outclassed from the very best of the finest. Not so distinct from the forty two-14 decline to Alabama in the 2012 BCS championship game or the 44-28 reduction to Ohio State in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. In point, Notre Dame is -eight in BCS and New Year’s Six online games due to the fact profitable the Cotton Bowl in 1993.

While to be honest, Clemson has been accomplishing this to absolutely everyone considering the fact that Lawrence settled in. The Tigers have not experienced an opponent remain in twenty points given that a near connect with in opposition to Syracuse on Sept. 29.

That was Lawrence’s initial video game as a starter, 1 he failed to finish because of a head injury, and Clemson’s initially after quarterback Kelly Bryant still left the team.

Bryant, a senior, led the Tigers to the playoff previous time and a semifinal loss to Alabama. He was pivotal in an early victory this time at Texas A&M. But Lawrence is a rare expertise, a prospective first over-all NFL draft choose. When Lawrence took around, the ceiling on Clemson’s prospective rose. Now it is staying realized.

With a impressive arm, swift release, poise in the pocket and signature flowing blond hair, Lawrence is positioned to grow to be just one of higher education football’s most significant stars. It will enable to have receivers this kind of as Ross, Higgins and Amari Rogers, all underclassmen. And a runner like sophomore Travis Etienne, who broke a 62-property touchdown run in the third quarter.

But Lawrence is the leader. In his eleventh get started, he will test to turn into the very first accurate freshman quarterback to direct his workforce to a nationwide championship because Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985.

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