I never had any doubt about how this game was going to turn out; we dominated from start to finish. Notre Dame got in because they are ND and we blew them off the field.
Ian Book and Boykins are a good pair, and I did have some worries that they would be able to throw the ball around a little, especially given our Safeties’ performance against Sakerlina last month. However, BV had the D dialed in from the very start of the game and the two of them never got anything going. Mullen and Terrell shut down the outside and Book really never got into any kind of rhythm. Dexter Williams never got anything at all of consequence on the ground either. In summary, we dominated them.
The offense took a little longer to get anything going today. The Irish clearly came into this game with the intention to heavily pressure us and try to force Sunshine to make a hasty decision. It was a fine strategy that we’ve seen have some success against him at times this season. It did seem to be working because the OL wasn’t picking up pressures well for much of the 1st half, and we weren’t running the ball enough to relieve that pressure. At the end of the 1st half though, TL just began picking the Irish apart and hitting big plays. Tee Higgins’ catch to end the half was a gut punch to the Irish and, though I felt we were in control of the game from the start, you could really sense a change with us ahead big and them still unable to move the ball.
Though I don’t think we really ran the ball well enough and I don’t think we called enough run plays early in a series of downs, the offense never seemed hapless and I felt they’d get their big plays and pull ahead by 3 scores. We just seemed to do it all in the 2nd Q and coasted the rest of the way, with Etienne’s long run coming after ND was clearly getting gassed.
Clemson sits at 14-0 with a chance to make a perfect season. I felt we’d be here and we’ve made it. My flight is reserved for California already. Now we will all be watching tonight’s game to see who we’re playing next Monday in Santa Clara.