Missed opportunities cost top-ranked Clemson in its 47-40 double-overtime loss to No. 4 Notre Dame on Saturday night in South Bend.
Leading by seven points late in regulation, the Tigers’ defense had a chance to close out the Fighting Irish and come away from Notre Dame Stadium with a top-five road victory. Instead, after pinning the Irish inside their own 10-yard line on a punt at the 1:48 mark of the fourth quarter, Clemson allowed quarterback Ian Book and his offense to drive 91 yards down the field on eight plays and tie the score with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Book to Avery Davis on a third-and-goal play with 22 seconds left in the game. The score was set up by a 53-yard pass from Book to Davis three plays prior.
On the previous possession, the Tigers had an opportunity to put the game on ice offensively. Following a fourth-down stop by the Clemson defense that resulted in a Notre Dame turnover on downs, the Tigers took over at their 47-yard line with 2:10 remaining, leading by a touchdown and needing a first down to seal the victory.
But the Irish defense bowed up and forced a three-and-out, setting up the late game-tying score for their offense.
Then, in the first overtime period, following a 1-yard touchdown rush by quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei that gave Clemson a 40-33 advantage, the Tigers’ defense once again had a chance to get a stop and win the game. It was unable to do so, however, as Notre Dame answered with a quick four-play drive capped off by running back Kyren Williams’ 3-yard touchdown run that sent the thrilling contest to a second extra frame.
Williams followed it up with another 3-yard touchdown burst up the middle in the second overtime, leaving it up to Clemson’s offense to try to tie the score again and force another overtime. Notre Dame’s defense didn’t let that happen, sacking Uiagalelei on back-to-back plays to start the Tigers’ possession and ultimately stopping Clemson on fourth-and-24 to end the game.
Another championship season is underway for the Tigers. It’s time to gear up for another year of Clemson football.
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