Notre Dame vs Clemson: The Show Must Go On


Despite Hurricane Joaquin’s best efforts, the show must go on. #12 Clemson will host #6 Notre Dame as scheduled. The field conditions of Death Valley will definitely play a factor in this highly anticipated primetime matchup.

Notre Dame continues the road to the College Football Playoff must go through Death Valley. With a Hurricane skirting the coast, and forecasts of heavy rainfall throughout the weekend, field conditions will certainly less than optimal. According to the weather channel, the biggest threat to the game will be times of heavy rain and windy conditions.

= Related – DeShone Kizer: From Holder to Hero =

The game’s biggest draw is the ESPN College Gameday. According to WYFF-4 in Greenville, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, Joe Galbraith stated that there were no changes for Gameday. Per WYFF-4:

"“Clemson Athletics, campus and local officials continue to monitor the changing weather conditions as we approach the weekend and have been in contact with the National Weather Service and the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Galbraith said in a release. “At this time, everything is scheduled as planned and we intend to continue on that path unless authorities advise us otherwise — in which case we’ll inform our fans, guests and students immediately.”"

Notre Dame (4-0) is facing an undefeated Clemson (3-0) in South Carolina in what is likely messy conditions. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, stated in a recent press conference that the game is going to come down to “competitive matchups”.

"“This is one of those games that really comes down to the competitive match-ups. Your offensive line versus their offensive line, their DBs versus our receivers. It’s just who wins the plays consistently.”“Then, obviously the things that usually make a difference in ballgames like this, because games like this, it’s usually just a few plays. I think you have pretty evenly matched teams, and that’s the turnover margin. And playing special teams, you know, stupid penalties, just discipline type things, so going to be a fun game.”"

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Unless the grounds crew at Death Valley has performed a miracle, the playing surface is going to be a mess. Expect several plays cut short by a ball carrier losing his footing. The winds might play a factor in the passing and kicking games. If that is the case, this potentially high-scoring game that many expected before Hurricane Joaquin, might turn into a slugfest of a low scoring affair.

In wet and messy conditions, with both teams needing a win, this game could be a roller-coaster ride that comes down to those few play. Ultimately, it comes down to which team has enough grit left in the 4th quarter. For Notre Dame, if the field conditions do get worse, they will need to lean heavily on their elite offensive line and running backs C.J. Prosise, Josh Adams, and Dexter Williams. Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer will still air it out, but accuracy issues can be a problem with wet and windy conditions. Either way it turns out, this game will heavily impact the College Football Playoff picture.

As a reminder, kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 pm and will be broadcast live on ABC. Be sure to check back for even  more Notre Dame coverage here at Ink On Indy!

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