Notre Dame Football: Writers Picks vs. Clemson

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Tony Jones Jr. #6 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish scores a touchdown against USC Trojans during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Tony Jones Jr. #6 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish scores a touchdown against USC Trojans during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Here’s how our writers see the Notre Dame football game vs. Clemson shaking out.

Tomorrow is the big day! The 2018 Notre Dame football team will take the field in the College Football Playoff against the Clemson Tigers Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Let’s see how our writers see the game playing out.

Carlee North

Notre Dame will be going into this game Saturday as a heavy underdog and I’m still pretty surprised by that. I think that fuels the Irish. Clemson being without top defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence is big. Yes, they have a very capable backup, but let’s be real — Lawrence is a top prospect in the draft coming up. It’s a huge loss for them and he’s a guy you can’t replace. Even before that news broke about his suspension, I thought the Irish were going to find a way to get over the hump, win this game and finally hush some people. I’m sticking to that. This team just feels different from past letdowns. The Irish beat Clemson 30-28 and head to the National Championship Game for the second time in six years.

Chase Eyrich

Even with the lopsided spread, I don’t think Clemson is ready for the type of defense that Notre Dame has. It will still be a high scoring game, but ND will hold Clemson to one of their lowest scoring games of the season. On top of that I like Notre Dame’s offensive weapons over Clemson’s secondary. The advantage there should be enough for ND to come out on top. 37-28 Notre Dame.

Connor McJunkin

Clemson being in the CFP isn’t that big of a surprise. In fact, most expected Clemson to be in this position. That’s not the case for the Irish. Not many outside the Notre Dame fan base would have predicted a 12-0 record and trip to the postseason. But, here we are.

I’m not shocked to see ND as a double-digit underdog heading into the game with the way Clemson has played all season. If Notre Dame wants to win, they need to play a perfect game and come out firing early. Protecting Book, slowing down Clemson’s dominant defensive line, and getting after the true freshman Trevor Lawrence will be the three big keys to the game.

Notre Dame has the talent to win this game and it will be a closer score than what the national media is predicting. It’s going to be a dog fight for 4 quarters, and even though Clemson might be the better team on paper, the Irish actually match up very well with them across the board.

As much as I want to take the easy route and predict a close Clemson win, my gut just won’t let me. Pack your bags for Santa Clara and a trip to the National Championship. The Irish pull off the upset 31-28.

Daniel Morrison

Notre Dame will be by far the toughest game this year for Clemson. The Irish, while having a similar strength of schedule, have seen this incredibly high-end talent before in the form of Michigan. In the end, I don’t see how anyone can bet on Trevor Lawrence, a freshman quarterback, to succeed on this stage. Notre Dame has a swarming defense and a more balanced offense. Look for Julian Love to pick off Lawrence late to seal the win. Notre Dame 28 Clemson 24.

Jack Leniart

The wait is finally over. The College Football Playoff is here. You would not know the Irish are double-digit underdogs based on the excitement swirling around the fan base. Notre Dame is not getting a whole lot of respect from the national media. However, I think that is more of a reflection of how they view this Clemson team. There appears to be a significant gap between the top two seeds and the bottom two seeds in this year’s College Football Playoff, but this is still college football. No team is unbeatable. Many have made mention of Notre Dame’s performance in the BCS National Championship after the 2012 season. I do not think they will lay an egg like that in the Cotton Bowl. The Irish will show up ready to play and compete for 60 minutes. At the end of the day, though, I think Clemson will be too much. Clemson 27, Notre Dame 23.

Mason Plummer

I have the Irish losing a close game to Clemson, 31-24. ND will hold their own and show that they belong, but the better team will prevail. The game is going to come down to a few key plays and this Clemson defense is for real. ND ends the season 12-1, a very successful season and one the Irish will look to build on with a good amount of talent coming back next year.

Nathan Erbach

My heart wants to pick ND, and I have a ton of confidence in this team, but until they win a really big bowl game against a team as talented as Clemson, I find it hard for me to trust my heart. This won’t be a blowout like a lot of college football fans want to believe, which is mainly just ND bs hate. I’m hope for a reverse score, but the Tigers will make a defensive stand late in the game to seal a playoff win over the Irish. 27-24, Clemson.

Paul Walsh

Notre Dame has a history of underperforming in games of this magnitude. However, I think this is the most talented and complete team that Notre Dame has had in quite some time. This is the year that they finally show up on the biggest of stages. The Irish defense steps up and matches Clemson’s defense. Notre Dame makes Trevor Lawrence more uncomfortable than he is accustomed to being and he makes some uncharacteristic mistakes. Notre Dame’s offensive line is challenged by the Clemson defensive front, but Book extends plays and keeps the chains moving. Notre Dame wins 28-24.

Next. Time for the Irish to prove they belong. dark

J.P. Scott

I honestly believe Notre Dame is the more complete team. I think they have a clear advantage everywhere on the field outside of the Irish matching up with the Clemson D-line. Every there, however, I believe Notre Dame can hold its own. Gimme the Irish to win a close one, 27-24.