NOTRE DAME VS. CLEMSON GAME NOTES

(NOTRE DAME NOTES)

BY THE NUMBERS: .909 The winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history, QB Ian Book is 30-3 (.909) as a starter, making him one of only two FBS quarterbacks to boast a .900 or above win rate (min. 20 wins), even as Book ranks 11th overall in total QB career starts (33). His 30 wins rank third among all FBS quarterbacks. 2 The Irish were ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll beginning November 8, their highest ranking since 2012. Through the Brian Kelly era (11 seasons), the Irish have been ranked in the AP Top 10 at least one week in each of the last seven seasons, and eight of the last nine. 3 Of the five longest regular-season winning streaks in college football history, Notre Dame has single-handedly ended three of those streaks: Oklahoma’s 45 (1953-57), Miami’s 36 (1985-88) and Clemson’s 36 (2017-20). 4 Javon McKinley has totaled four 100-receiving yard performances in 2020, tied for the most among any ACC player. 4 Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 32-3 (.917). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled three or fewer losses (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State) since the start of 2018. 9 Notre Dame’s victory over No. 1 Clemson was Notre Dame’s ninth win over an AP No. 1 opponent, which ties for second-most all-time (Miami). Only Alabama has more (10). 16 The Irish boast a current win streak of 16 games, the longest among all FBS teams. 17.1 The defense has yielded just 17.1 points/game through the regular season. That figure ranks fifth among all Power 5 teams. 33 Notre Dame has held 33-of-36 opponents during Clark Lea’s tenure as defensive coordinator to 30 points or less. That includes ranked opponents LSU, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia, Virginia, Navy and North Carolina. 52.8 Of the Top 10 rushers in the ACC, which includes RB Kyren Williams, the Irish have faced six: North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Duke’s Mataeo Durant, Florida State’s Jordan Travis and Syracuse’s Sean Tucker. Notre Dame’s defense has limited those six Top-10 running backs to an average of 52.8 yards (317 yards total on 84 carries) and just three total touchdowns among the six. Carter, who leads the ACC with 113.2 rushing yards per game, was held to just 57 vs. Notre Dame. By comparison, against those five teams, Williams posted at least 100 rushing yards in all five matchups, averaging 134.2 yards (671 yards total on 104 carries), with a total of 10 touchdowns. 44:47 The Irish have only trailed for 44:47 minutes out of a total 600:00 minutes of regulation. 41 Notre Dame has totaled 41 regular season wins in four years, the most in a four year period in program history. 102 Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Brian Kelly notched 102 ˆ wins in his Notre Dame career with the victory over Syracuse. Ranking second all-time in program history in career wins, and with 10 wins this season, he has totaled the most double-digit win seasons in school history (six). 141 Notre Dame has outscored opponents 141-35 in the second quarter this season. 120 Notre Dame is 120-38-7 in neutral site games since 1887. In the Brian Kelly era, the Irish are 17-6.

TAKING ON THE BEST • Notre Dame’s victory over No. 1 Clemson was Notre Dame’s ninth win over an AP No. 1 opponent, which ties for second-most all-time (Miami). Only Alabama has more (10). • The matchup with Clemson was the first game for the Irish against the No. 1 team in the Brian Kelly era. Notre Dame has played one other Top 10 team at home in that span: No. 8 ND winning 38-17 over No. 7 Stanford (2018). • Notre Dame has won six of the last seven games when playing No. 1 as a top-five team. • Notre Dame’s 47 points vs. Clemson are the most an Irish team has ever scored against a No. 1 opponent. • Of the five longest regular-season winning streaks in college football history, Notre Dame has single-handedly ended three of those streaks: Oklahoma’s 45 (1953-57), Miami’s 36 (1985-88) and Clemson’s 36 (2017-20). • Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 33-3 (.917). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. • Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled three or fewer losses since the beginning of 2018.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB • Notre Dame will compete for a football conference championship for the first time in the program’s one-year history of being a conference member. • For the first time in the 132-year history of the Notre Dame Football Program, the Fighting Irish played the 2020 football season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (131 years were spent as an independent. The 132nd season is the first in the ACC). • In the ACC Preseason Order of Finish, the Irish were ranked second behind Clemson, who entered the season as the top-ranked team in the nation. On Nov. 7, Notre Dame beat Clemson at Notre Dame Stadium (47-40, 2OT). • In a partnership that began in 2014, Notre Dame and the ACC agreed to schedule the Irish to play, on average, five ACC opponents each season. Originally scheduled through the 2025 season, the games have now been scheduled through the 2037 campaign.

CLEMSON NOTES:

CLEMSON SEEKS SIXTH STRAIGHT ACC TITLE IN REMATCH VS. NOTRE DAME SATURDAY Clemson will attempt to earn a record sixth consecutive outright conference title on Saturday, Dec. 19, when the Tigers face Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game. Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Even in the most unusual year of college football in the modern era, the ACC Championship Game matchup played true to recent form, matching a traditional Atlantic Division power against a new challenger. While Clemson and Florida State have represented the Atlantic Division every year since 2013, eight different challengers have served as ACC Championship Game opponents in that span. All seven Coastal Division teams earned one appearance between 2013-19, and this season, Notre Dame earned a berth in its first year in the league. Between Clemson and Florida State, Atlantic Division representatives have won nine straight ACC titles, including each of the last five by Clemson. This week, Clemson will attempt to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive titles outright (Note: Oklahoma can also accomplish the feat with a win in the Big 12 Championship Game). Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the now-dissolved Big 8 Conference. The history Clemson seeks this week is not limited only to ACC annals. At 9-1 this year, Clemson is one win shy of reaching the 10-win threshold for the 10th consecutive season. With a win this week, Clemson would become only the third program in FBS history to produce a “double-double” — double-digit wins in a double-digit number of consecutive seasons. Clemson would join Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008-20) as the only programs ever to produce 10 straight 10-win seasons. Both teams will be led Saturday by their programs’ respective winningest starting quarterbacks: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (33-1) and Notre Dame’s Ian Book (30- 3). Lawrence is 5-1 in his career in postseason play, including a 2-0 mark in ACC Championship Games. Though Book also helped Notre Dame to a 2017 bowl win in reserve, he is 1-1 as a starter in the postseason, with his lone loss coming against a freshman Lawrence in the 2018 Cotton Bowl.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson, which is already the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles, attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. (Note: Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright.) – Clemson attempting to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright conference titles. Clemson’s five consecutive outright titles from 2015-19 are tied with the 1971-75 Alabama Crimson Tide and 2015-19 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest streak of outright conference championships of any current conference. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the nowdissolved Big 8 Conference. – Clemson attempting to become the first program to win 20 ACC titles. Since helping form the conference in 1953, Clemson leads the ACC with 19 titles all-time, including 18 outright. – Clemson attempting to earn its 26th conference championship all-time, including four SIAA championships and two Southern Conference championships prior to the formation of the ACC. Clemson’s 25 conference titles across all conferences are the most of any current or former ACC member.

– Clemson attempting to improve to 7-1 all-time in ACC Championship Games. – Clemson facing its seventh different opponent in its eight ACC Championship Game appearances all-time, a list that includes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech (twice), North Carolina, Miami (Fla.), Pitt, Virginia, and, now, Notre Dame. The only non-Atlantic Division foe Clemson has not faced in an ACC title game is Duke. – Clemson attempting to win 10 games for a school record 10th consecutive season. Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 10 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008- 20). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 10 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC. – Clemson playing a team twice in a single season for the third time in school history. Clemson dropped two meetings with Georgia Tech in 2009 and swept two meetings with Virginia Tech in 2011. Clemson will attempt to split a two-game single-season series with an opponent for the first time. – Clemson attempting to improve to 18-8 under Dabo Swinney in rematches of losses. Clemson has suffered only 32 losses under Swinney and has had 25 previous opportunities to avenge its most recent loss against an opponent, going 17-8 in those contests. (There are six programs Clemson has not faced again since a loss in the teams’ most recent meeting.)

– Clemson playing a third AP Top 10 opponent in a single season for the seventh time in school history (four each in 2013 and 2015; three each in 1966, 1977, 1981 and 2016). It is only the third time in school history Clemson will have played three Top 10 opponents prior to bowl season (three in 1966 and 2013). – Clemson playing a third matchup of two AP Top 10 teams in a single season for the fourth time in school history (three Top-10 matchups each in 2013, 2015 and 2016). It will join the 2013 season as the only seasons in school history that Clemson will play in three games between Top 10 teams prior to bowl season. – Clemson attempting to improve to 14-10 all-time in games between AP Top 10 teams. A win would push Clemson to 9-3 in games between AP Top 10 teams since the start of the 2016 season. For more on Clemson’s history in games between Top 10 opponents, see the “Top 10 History” section later in the notes. – Clemson attempting to earn a 13th all-time victory against an AP Top 5 opponent. Nine of Clemson’s 12 all-time wins against AP Top 5 teams have come under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. – Clemson attempting to improve to 9-5 all-time in games between two AP Top 5 teams. Clemson is 6-3 since 2016 when both teams enter a game in the AP Top 5.

– Clemson entering the game with seven wins against AP Top 5 opponents since 2015, the second-most in the country. – Clemson attempting to defeat an AP Top 2 team for the fifth time in school history. Clemson has two wins against No. 1 (vs. Alabama to end 2016 and 2018) and two wins against No. 2 (vs. Ohio State in 2016 and 2019). Of note: Ohio State was ranked No. 2 by the AP for the 2016 Fiesta Bowl despite being the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff. – Clemson attempting to improve to 4-2 all-time against Notre Dame. Presently, Clemson (3-2), Florida State (6- 4), Michigan (25-17-1), Nebraska (8-7-1) and Ohio State (4-2) are the only schools to have played Notre Dame at least four times and hold a winning record in the series. – Clemson attempting to earn a 10th win through the first 11 games of a season for the 11th time in school history. Clemson won at least 10 games in its first 11 contests in the 1948, 1978, 1981, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. – The 2020 Clemson seniors (50-4 since 2017) attempting to win a 51st game in four years to tie the 2016 and 2019 Alabama seniors for the fifth-most by a class in FBS history. – Clemson attempting to improve to 52-3 against conference opponents since the start of the 2015 season, the first year of Clemson’s active run of five consecutive ACC titles. – Clemson attempting to win its 14th consecutive December game, dating to Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship Game victory against Virginia Tech. Clemson (13-0) is one of three schools to be undefeated in December since 2011 with a minimum of five games played, a list that also includes Alabama (10-0) and Penn State (6-0).

Clemson attempting to improve to 25-13 all-time in December games, including postseason play. – Clemson entering the game as one of only two teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation in both total offense (11th, 504.3 yards per game) and total defense (seventh, 302.0), alongside BYU. – Clemson entering this week as one of only five teams in the country with at least 25 rushing touchdowns (29) and at least 25 passing touchdowns (27) this season. – Clemson attempting to score 40 points in a fourth straight game. It would give Clemson nine 40-point games in a 10-game span for the first time in school history. – Clemson, which has scored at least 34 points in each of its first 10 games, attempting to join 2013 Florida State as the only ACC teams ever to score 34 or more points in each of the first 11 games of a season. – Clemson attempting to open a season with 400 yards of offense in each of the first 11 games of a season for the second time in school history (2018). – Clemson entering the game averaging 346.0 passing yards per game, the top average in the ACC and the seventh-best in the nation. The average is 12 yards better than the school-record mark of 333.9 passing yards per game, set by Clemson’s 2016 national title team

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson, which is already the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles, attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. (Note: Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright.) – Clemson attempting to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright conference titles. Clemson’s five consecutive outright titles from 2015-19 are tied with the 1971-75 Alabama Crimson Tide and 2015-19 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest streak of outright conference championships of any current conference. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the nowdissolved Big 8 Conference.

– Clemson attempting to become the first program to win 20 ACC titles. Since helping form the conference in 1953, Clemson leads the ACC with 19 titles all-time, including 18 outright. – Clemson attempting to earn its 26th conference championship all-time, including four SIAA championships and two Southern Conference championships prior to the formation of the ACC. Clemson’s 25 conference titles across all conferences are the most of any current or former ACC member. – Clemson attempting to improve to 7-1 all-time in ACC Championship Games. – Clemson facing its seventh different opponent in its eight ACC Championship Game appearances all-time, a list that includes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech (twice), North Carolina, Miami (Fla.), Pitt, Virginia, and, now, Notre Dame. The only non-Atlantic Division foe Clemson has not faced in an ACC title game is Duke.

– Clemson attempting to win 10 games for a school record 10th consecutive season. Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 10 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008- 20). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 10 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC. – Clemson playing a team twice in a single season for the third time in school history. Clemson dropped two meetings with Georgia Tech in 2009 and swept two meetings with Virginia Tech in 2011. Clemson will attempt to split a two-game single-season series with an opponent for the first time. – Clemson attempting to improve to 18-8 under Dabo Swinney in rematches of losses. Clemson has suffered only 32 losses under Swinney and has had 25 previous opportunities to avenge its most recent loss against an opponent, going 17-8 in those contests. (There are six programs Clemson has not faced again since a loss in the teams’ most recent meeting.) – Clemson playing a third AP Top 10 opponent in a single season for the seventh time in school history (four each in 2013 and 2015; three each in 1966, 1977, 1981 and 2016). It is only the third time in school history Clemson will have played three Top 10 opponents prior to bowl season (three in 1966 and 2013). – Clemson playing a third matchup of two AP Top 10 teams in a single season for the fourth time in school history (three Top-10 matchups each in 2013, 2015 and 2016). It will join the 2013 season as the only seasons in school history that Clemson will play in three games between Top 10 teams prior to bowl season.

– Clemson attempting to improve to 14-10 all-time in games between AP Top 10 teams. A win would push quarterbacked by Deshaun Watson. – Clemson attempting to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games for the first time since last year’s regular season finale and ACC Championship Game against South Carolina and Virginia, respectively. – Clemson attempting to record multiple rushing touchdowns in a 27th consecutive game. The last time Clemson was held to a single rushing touchdown was in a 27-point win in the 2018 Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame. – Clemson, which allowed no sacks to Virginia Tech in its most recent game, attempting to go consecutive games without allowing a sack for the first time since the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to end 2018 and the 2019 season opener. It would be the first time doing so in a single season since the Duke and South Carolina games in 2018. – Clemson entering the game having recorded multiple sacks in 32 of its last 33 games, including each of its last 16.