These guys could give Notre Dame football problems in the Cotton Bowl
Well, Irish fans, here we are. The long wait is almost over. In a few short days, Notre Dame football will take on Clemson in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in the first ever College Football Playoff berth for the Irish.
Notre Dame has played against its fair share of talented players throughout the course of the season. However, no team that Notre Dame has faced carried the kind of star power that the Irish will find in Clemson. These are the Tigers who will give Notre Dame the most problems on December 29th.
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback
Lawrence was thrust in to the starting role as Clemson’s signal caller early in the year when Dabo Swinney decided to make a quarterback change. Lawrence took the opportunity and never looked back. He has provided a quiet leadership by performing well, something the Tigers needed in the wake of benching Kelly Bryant and Bryant’s subsequent decision to transfer. Lawrence has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns while keeping the interceptions to a minimum with a meager four, which earned him the distinction of ACC Rookie of the Year.
Lawrence’s talent is undeniable, and his ability to move the chains through the air forces opponents to respect the pass, thus allowing Clemson to open up their running game. The fact remains, however, that Lawrence has not faced a defense as talented as Notre Dame’s. The Irish defense cannot give Lawrence all day to throw the ball. They must find a way to make him look like a freshman for the first time this year. They can do this by pressuring Lawrence and making him more uncomfortable than he is accustomed to being. This may force him into making some uncharacteristic mistakes.