#6 Notre Dame (4-0) at #12 Clemson (3-0)
When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
Where: Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ABC Radio: XM 129, 84
Notre Dame can take a big step at improving their resume Saturday night in Clemson against the Tigers. This will be the Irish’s toughest road contest the rest of the year until the last game when they visit Stanford. If they don’t win tonight, they’ll have a tough time climbing back up in the rankings before the end of the season. Quarterback DeShone Kizer, who came in for the injured Malik Zaire at Virginia in Week 2 has responded to the challenge of leading the Fighting Irish offense. The sophomore scored his first rushing touchdown against Massachusetts last week and added a pair of scores through the air before taking most of the second half off in the 62-27 win. Kizer has completed 67.7% of his passes throwing 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Running back C.J. Prosise, who has run for at least 149 yards in each of the last three games, has taken some pressure off the young QB. Prosise has scored 6 touchdowns in those three contests and is averaging over nine yards per carry.
Clemson got their first test two weeks ago when they edged out Louisville 20-17. The Tigers opened the season with easy wins over Wofford and Appalachian State. They had the top ranked defense in the nation last year and are back in the top 10 again this year. They’re only allowing 261 yards a game overall and only 146 yards through the air. The 12.3 points per game they surrender ranks 11th best in the NCAA. Offensively, quarterback Deshaun Watson is leading this team just fine. He’s completed over 74% of his passes for 641 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Talented wide receiver Artavis Scott, who had 76 catches last year as a freshman, has hauled in 20 already this year. The running game is led by another sophomore in Wayne Gallman, who has 310 yards and three scores. The Tigers are 1-7 the last three years against ranked teams.
Everyone seemed to write Notre Dame off after Zaire went down, but this is a very talented squad. Prosise has done a great job taking the pressure off Kizer and defense is capable of stepping up in big games like this. It could be a sloppy game with a hurricane on the way from the Atlantic ocean. This game could really go either way, but I’m going with the Irish tonight.
Pick: Notre Dame +1.5