No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Notre Dame

ACC Championship Game No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Notre Dame | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 18, 2020

The winner of Saturday’s ACC Championship Game from Charlotte between No. 3 Clemson and No. 2 Notre Dame is a lock for the College Football Playoff. If Notre Dame loses close, the Irish are probably going to still get in. The Tigers are double-digit favorites on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Clemson vs. Notre Dame NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 4 PM ET
  • Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Clemson -10.5 (total 60)

Last Meeting

One of the best games of the 2020 season was Notre Dame’s 47-40 double overtime home win over Clemson on Nov. 7 – but the Tigers didn’t have star QB Trevor Lawrence then due to COVID. Both teams scored touchdowns in the first frame, but when Notre Dame opened the second overtime period with a score, the Tigers took two sacks and ultimately came up short. The loss ended Clemson’s record 36-game winning streak against ACC opponents and its FBS record 50-game winning streak on Saturdays. Tigers freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards and two touchdowns in place of Lawrence.

Clemson is 3-2 all-time vs. Notre Dame and 1-0 at neutral sites.

Why Bet on Clemson? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Clemson (9-1) last played on Dec. 5 and won easily at Virginia Tech 45-10 to clinch yet another spot in the ACC title game. It will be Clemson’s eighth all-time ACC Championship Game appearance, adding to the Tigers’ ACC record, and its sixth straight appearance, also an ACC record. Clemson becomes the first Power Five team to appear in six consecutive conference championship games.

After a competitive first half, the Tigers pulled away from the Hokies with the help of three forced fumbles, two of which resulted in Clemson touchdowns. Virginia Tech was held to a scoreless second half and only 131 total rushing yards, its lowest single-game-total this season.

Clemson finished plus-two in the turnover margin, improving to 29-1 under Dabo Swinney when finishing exactly plus-two in the margin.  Clemson rushed for 238 yards, its second most of the season behind its 258 vs. Miami (Fla.). Clemson improved to 67-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Swinney. The Tigers joined 2013 Florida State as the only ACC teams ever to score 34 or more points in each of the first 10 games of a season.

Clemson recorded multiple rushing touchdowns in a 26th consecutive game. The last time Clemson was held to a single rushing touchdown was in the 2018 Cotton Bowl. With the victory, Trevor Lawrence became the winningest starting quarterback in school-history (33), surpassing Rodney Williams, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson’s shared record of 32. Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne are up for numerous national awards and will go down as two of the best players in ACC history.

With a win Saturday, Clemson would become only the third program in FBS history to produce a “double-double” — double-digit wins in a double-digit number of consecutive seasons.

Why Bet on Notre Dame? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Irish (9-1) also last played on Dec. 5 and handled Syracuse 45-21. Syracuse was competitive the first 27 minutes while taking a 7-3 lead, but three Notre Dame touchdowns in a span of 3:12 right before halftime made it 24-7 at the intermission and sealed the outcome. Notre Dame has outscored opponents 141-35 in the second quarter this season.

In his final home game, fifth-year senior quarterback Ian Book led that late second-quarter charge with a 28-yard touchdown run and then 21- and 28-yard scoring passes to wideout Javon McKinley. Book completed 24 of 37 passes for 285 yards with three touchdowns and scored two other times on 28 and 17-yard scrambles while finishing with 53 rushing yards on eight carries.

With his 30th-career win, Book became the all-time winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history. He passed Brady Quinn, Ron Powlus & Tom Clements. On the season, Book has completed 63.3 percent of his passes and thrown for 2,383 yards and 15 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Book has also been a threat in the run game, as he has racked up another 465 yards and eight touchdowns on 91 carries.

McKinley, who had not scored this season despite leading the team in receiving, scored three times while finishing with 111 yards on seven catches. Running back Kyren Williams became the sixth Notre Dame sophomore to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards, finishing with 110 yards on 20 carries.

Notre Dame has the longest active win streak in the FBS (16 games). Coach Brian Kelly has now notched 102 wins in his Notre Dame career (102-37), second all-time in program history behind Knute Rockne’s 105. The Irish have now completed three undefeated regular seasons under Kelly (also in 2012, 2018).

Senior linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been selected as a finalist for the Butkus Award. Owusu-Koramoah has totaled 49 tackles in 2020, which leads the Irish, also leading the team with 9.0 tackles-for-loss. He has been responsible for forcing multiple turnovers.

This is the first conference title game in Notre Dame history, but the Irish will return to independence next season.

Game Trends

  • Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.
  • Tigers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games in December.
  • Tigers are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 neutral site games.
  • Fighting Irish are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up win.
  • Fighting Irish are 19-9 ATS in their last 28 games following a bye week.

Expert Prediction

  • Clemson 34, Notre Dame 27

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