Finally, it is time to play

Finally, it is time to play

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Finally, it is time to play

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Clemson concludes bowl practice, plays Notre Dame on Saturday in Cotton Bowl Classic

DALLAS —Clemson concluded practices for Saturday’s Cotton Bowl with a brief walkthrough Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The next time the Tigers see the field will be at 4 p.m., EST, Saturday afternoon, on the home field of the Dallas Cowboys as they play No. 3 Notre Dame as part of the College Football Playoff.

“It’s been an incredibly fast week. I cannot believe it’s Friday,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “I think we’re both glad that it’s getting time to play. But great environment to practice, great hospitality, and a lot of good food, too.”

Second-ranked Clemson (13-0) is playing in its fourth straight College Football Playoff so they have used that experience to keep everything as routine as possible.

“Obviously, we had a lot of time to prepare for this opponent. But we love routine,” Swinney said. “And that’s one of the things that’s been kind of cool about this particular bowl, is a Monday is actually a Monday and a Friday is actually a Friday.

“So that’s been a little easier. But today is Friday, and so we have a very routine day, and I think that helps. So, we just prepare for the game as we do for all of our games. Obviously, we’ve had a lot more time. But I think the routine, it’s important that it’s the same. So, we’ll go about our business today just like we would if we were back at home or on the road any other Friday.”

The winner of the Clemson-Notre Dame game will advance to the 2019 National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., where they will play the winner of the Orange Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma. The Tigers played in the 2016 and 2017 CFP title games, while the Irish last appeared in a national championship game in 2012 under the old BCS format.

Clemson of course won the 2017 National Championship Game. In all three occasions, Alabama was the opponent.

“We really appreciate the Cotton Bowl folks and everybody who works so hard to make this a great week,” Swinney said. “I mean, it’s a well-oiled machine, that’s for sure. So, I think it took like a minute and a half to get over here from our hotel with the police. And everybody’s just well-coordinated. We’re very thankful and appreciative and excited to play in this game against an unbelievable opponent.”

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