Fourth-ranked Notre Dame outlasted battered No. 1 Clemson 47-40 in double overtime on Saturday night in South Bend, Ind.
The Fighting Irish jumped out an early 10-0 lead and maintained a 23-13 advantage at halftime. But, the Tigers rallied and took a 33-26 lead with 3:33 to play in the contest.
Ultimately key pieces missing on the defense and key mistakes caught up to Clemson and Notre Dame left victorious in one of the most exciting college football games of the season thus far.
Each week The Clemson Insider gives out helmet stickers who contributed to the Tigers’ success with outstanding individual performances.
Wide receiver Cornell Powell played another outstanding game and showed himself as the go-to target for backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. Powell finished the game with eight receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown.
His touchdown gave Clemson life after Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-0 lead Powell broke free on a post route for a 53-yard touchdown. He also looked to have scored the first touchdown of overtime on a 24-yard reception before the play was overturned and Uiagalelei ran in on the ensuing play.
The true freshman did not miss a beat in his second straight game filling in for Trevor Lawrence. Uiagalelei set a record for the most passing yards against a Notre Dame team and the most of a Clemson quarterback against a top five team. The freshman also etched his name in the Clemson record books for the third most passing yards ever in program history.
Uiagalelei has shown there is no moment too big and that the Tigers will be in good shape at quarterback for a while after Lawrence’s tenure comes to an end.
Another bright spot for the Tigers was the play of kicker B.T. Potter. He finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals from 25, 45, 46 and 30 yards. The career high four field goals are the most by a Tiger kicker since Chandler Catanzaro connected on four attempts against Maryland in 2014.
The senior wide out did not have a perfect game but finished with an impressive eight receptions for 134 yards in the game. Rodgers sore spot was a critical fumble that resulted in an Irish field goal.
Clemson’s defense faced a tough task with the absence of tackle Tyler Davis, linebacker James Skalski, linebacker Mike Jones and several others who exited the game with injuries.
Senior Baylon Spector stepped up and finished the game with seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery in the end zone. Spector showed he can fill a spot and step up when needed.
Clemson benefits from a week off before it travels to Florida State on November 21.