Notre Dame vs Clemson: TV, Time, Preview, Prediction, Odds at present – Contained in the Irish

After losses to Marshall and Stanford, there could also be an intuition to undercut Notre Dame’s viability this November, however Irish head coach Marcus Freeman won’t grant any credence to any diminishment of his crew. Not even with No. 4 Clemson (8-0) rolling into city this weekend.

They often is the mighty Tigers, the identical ones of six straight Faculty Soccer Playoff appearances from 2015 via 2020 and nationwide titles in 2016 and 2018, however Freeman sees these as nonetheless additionally the formidable Irish (5-3), not some upstart hoping to spring an upset.

“It’s not a David vs. Goliath,” Freeman stated Monday. “This can be a heavyweight battle.

“We’ve received a dang good soccer crew. I’ve all the time stated it. We do precisely what we’re imagined to do, we’re a adequate soccer crew to win each sport we play.”

Now the problem for Notre Dame is to show that daring declare on the largest stage (7:30 ET; NBC). If it reverts to the shape seen at dwelling so far this season — not solely shedding to Marshall and Stanford, but in addition scuffling with Cal and underwhelming in opposition to UNLV — this primetime affair may flip lopsided rapidly.

“We’ve seen if we don’t execute and we don’t do our job, we’re not going to be victorious.”

If Saturday night time won’t be David vs. Goliath, then it might be a rendition of an unstoppable pressure assembly an immovable object.

Coming off the Irish gashing of Syracuse almost strictly by way of the bottom sport, calling Notre Dame’s dashing assault an unstoppable pressure just isn’t altogether an exaggeration. The Irish took 53 rushes for 249 yards (sack and kneel downs adjusted), a 4.7 yards per carry common. Most notably, Notre Dame threw simply 5 passes within the second half. As soon as it was forward, it was content material to remain forward by that current margin.

“There is no such thing as a secret what their identification is,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney stated this week. “You possibly can both match that or you may’t. They’ve performed eight video games, you may have a mode of play at this level.

“They’re a bodily group. They’ve three backs that may beat you. … They’ve a mode of play and you might be prepared for that otherwise you’re not. It will likely be a bodily sport. No secret there.”

The not-so-secret secret often is the Irish passing sport and the way woeful it’s. Except junior quarterback Drew Pyne and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees have been retaining each arrow of their figurative quiver the final month — incomprehensible given included in that stretch was a 16-14 loss to Stanford — there may be little for the Tigers to worry from Notre Dame via the air.

Pyne performed effectively in opposition to then-No. 16 BYU, finishing 22-of-28 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, however since then he has accomplished simply 48.6 % of his passes with 6.38 yards per go try. There may be leaning on a floor sport as a result of it’s efficient, after which there may be leaning on a floor sport as a result of the passing assault is ineffective, and the Irish have veered from the previous in September to the latter in October.

And neither side of Notre Dame’s offense has been explosive, with simply 10.7 % of Irish performs within the final 4 video games qualifying as explosive, their general explosive charge rating No. 95 within the nation. 

The unstoppable pressure, to stay with the ol’ phrase, has not been a fast-moving one.

“The opposite factor, in some unspecified time in the future, if we’re not working the ball so effectively, we’re going to throw it extra,” Freeman stated. “Proper now we’re working the ball fairly effectively. If we don’t run the ball rather well, it’s going to pressure us to take extra alternatives within the passing sport.”

For each warning Swinney could supply about Notre Dame’s floor assault, the truth is, Saturday night time probably will hinge on Pyne’s arm. Clemson’s defensive entrance will pressure that problem.

There may be the literal description of that protection, together with one supplied by main Irish working again Audric Estimé this week on the ND on NBC Podcast.

“We see a number of massive dudes,” Estimé stated. “We see a number of bodily guys, so we all know it’s going to be a bodily sport. We see a number of veterans, we see a number of expertise.

“It’s positively going to be a problem.”

Then there may be the draft analysis supplied by Swinney within the preseason, one probably not argued by any draftniks. Swinney suggested his defensive line may send seven linemen into the NFL draft in 2023. A few of them, particularly senior finish Xavier Thomas and senior defensive deal with Bryan Bresee, have been held again by damage. These two are, in reality, probably the most gifted members of that line, and their enhancing statuses counsel Clemson has not been correctly evaluated but this season.

“A man like Xavier Thomas, for instance, he’s simply trending up and up and up, the place I believe he can actually lower it unfastened,” Swinney stated Monday.

And lastly, there may be the truth that opposing offenses have prevented testing this defensive position as a lot as they may this season, the inverse of opponents’ eagerness to run in opposition to Syracuse’s protection. When factoring in sport scenario — rating, subject place, down and distance — opponents have run in opposition to the Tigers 10.4 % lower than would often be anticipated.

“You need to cease the run or they’re going to kill you,” Swinney stated. “The three backs are sledgehammers. All the blokes up entrance, the offensive linemen, they create further gaps formationally. It’s an actual problem simply to line up in opposition to these guys, as a result of it’s a distinct kind of soccer than possibly you see on a weekly foundation. It challenges you from a self-discipline standpoint, a leverage standpoint and alignment as a result of it’s important to cease the run.”

Swinney just isn’t blowing scorching air there. Notre Dame’s offensive line has discovered its kind, albeit in opposition to weaker defensive fronts. The matchup within the trenches when the Irish have the ball ought to be the type of conflict that soccer purists drool over.

However then Swinney was even blunter. The proof that he was not blowing scorching air got here within the underlying sentiment of his subsequent sentence.

“The quarterback just isn’t a man they will put within the shotgun, drop again and throw it 50 occasions,” he stated. “That isn’t who they’re.”

That was much less a criticism of Pyne and extra an acknowledgment of Notre Dame’s broad limitations, what with a receiver rotation fortunate to succeed in 5 gamers, a good finish room with out three anticipated downfield threats and a beginning quarterback watching from the coaches’ sales space. However it suits hand-in-hand with Freeman’s nod to figuring out sometime the Irish might want to throw the ball.

If ever there was a night to zig when anticipated to zag, to field right-handed late into the heavyweight bout earlier than switching to at least one’s pure southpaw, to throw deep out of the gates to chase an early lead a la scoring on the primary snap of the sport in 2020, it might be Saturday night time for Notre Dame.

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