No Clemson team has played at Notre Dame Stadium in 41 years. Of course, that was when quarterback Billy Lott led Danny Ford’s first Clemson team to a 16-10 come-from-behind victory in South Bend, Ind., on November 17, 1979.
Despite the fact many of the current Tigers have won a national championship and have played in the College Football Playoff, and countless other big games across the country and the Southeast, going to play at Notre Dame Stadium with “Touchdown Jesus” looming over the stadium is a big deal.
That is why Dabo Swinney and his Clemson team will visit the stadium on Friday for a few minutes after they arrive in South Bend. It is an opportunity to get the “awe factor” of playing at one of College Football’s meccas out of the way.
That includes Swinney.
“It depends. When we go to certain places that we have not been, we will usually swing by the stadium and check it,” the Clemson coach said during his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “We don’t typically do that if it is a place that we play at a lot.”
Notre Dame Stadium was built in 1930 and has hosted some of the biggest games in college football, as well is home to some of the game’s greatest traditions such as “Touchdown Jesus,” a large mural on a wall that looms large over the north side of the stadium.
“As far as ‘Touchdown Jesus,’ I mean. I am just excited to see it,” Swinney said.
Like his players, Swinney has never been to Notre Dame Stadium, either.
“Just from a college football standpoint, this is something I have always wanted to do,” he said. “I had never competed against Notre Dame until 2015. So, Notre Dame, obviously, their tradition is unbelievable and is such a historic program and brand.
“I’m just excited about going and competing against the best, at their place and in an historic environment. I am excited about all of that and I look forward to it.”
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