Top-ranked Clemson travels to South Bend, Ind., to face No 4. Notre Dame in the biggest matchup in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Never in ACC history has it had a game between the nation’s No. 1 team and a top 5 team . Everybody’s eyes will be on the Tigers and Fighting Irish on Saturday night.
So far this season, Nolan Turner has proven himself as Clemson’s marquee player in the secondary. But he knows the Tigers’ defense is in store for one of its toughest tests so far when it faces the Notre Dame offense.
He highlighted the quality of the Irish’s tight ends and feels they are the best unit Clemson has faced thus far.
“They are super physical and deep, they have four guys that can really play,” Turner said. “The physicality of the group is probably the biggest thing and they can make plays. They have some athletic dudes that will definitely be NFL guys, that’s a special group of tight ends.”
The Irish’s Michael Mayer leads the team in receptions with 15 for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Tommy Tremble caught 12 passes for 126 yards and three other tight ends have added five catches for 35 yards.
Nolan Turner has made himself extremely valuable to the Tigers this season and is moving his way up the NFL draft boards. And the senior has recorded 21 tackles so far and leads the FBS with three interceptions.
Turner was also impressed by Notre Dame’s stable of running backs led by Kyren Williams. The sophomore tailback has rushed 105 times for 600 yards and seven touchdowns.
“The dude is physical. The dude likes to run hard and is comfortable with the ball in his hands. He is patient and makes good cuts and reads back there,” Turner said. “The speed of those backs, too. They can fly. We have to tackle well and fit up the run well and be physical at the point of attack.”
The safety recognizes the tradition of the Notre Dame program and grew up watching ‘Rudy’. Now he is excited to square up the Fighting Irish and likes the possibility of playing the Irish twice if Clemson continues its success in conference play.
“There is a chance we could play again in the ACC Championship, if we take care of business like we should,” Turner said. “I haven’t thought that far down the road, but that’d be a cool matchup to play them twice this year.”
Clemson faces Notre Dame on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.