Number One No More

Clemson Tigers Fall at the Hands of Temporary Conference Foe


Donovan Lee, Sports Editor / HTV Station Manager

The top-ranked Clemson Tigers (7-1) took a trip to Indiana to face the fourth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0) in what is, this year, an ACC matchup as the Irish have joined the ACC to allow for them to still take part in the 2020 season.


Clemson, off of a comeback victory against Boston College, had to fight once more without their starting quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, to remain unbeaten and the top team in the nation. Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 29 and has been inactive since then. He is expected to return for the Nov. 21 game against Florida State.


The Irish hit the ground running, literally. Irishmen tailback Kyren Williams would rush for a 65-yd touchdown within the first minute of the game to start things off. A Notre Dame field goal would add to their early lead as the Tigers would only produce a passing touchdown from backup quarterback DJ Uiagelelei to receiver Cornell Powell to bring them on the board and within a score of the Fighting Irish, 10-7.


A showcase of special teams would dominate the second quarter as Clemson kicker B.T. Potter and Notre Dame kicker Jonathan Doerer each added a pair of field goals to their respective scores. A touchdown in between these flurries of placekicking precision, courtesy of Notre Dame off of their own fumble return, would send the game into intermission with the Irish ahead, 23-10.


The Tigers completed a 10-0 comeback to notch the game at 23 apiece heading into the final fifteen minutes of regulation. Although another Clemson would claim them the lead, a last-minute effort from the Fighting Irish would tie the game up and force overtime.


The Irish won the coin toss and deferred the first possession to Clemson. After a successful scoring effort from both squads, a second overtime was necessary as the score was knotted at 40. With Notre Dame’s player of the night Kyren Williams recording his third touchdown and the Irish’s successful defensive stand, a 47-40 victory handed the Tigers their first regular-season loss since 2017 while dethroning them from the coveted No. 1 spot.