CHARLOTTE, N.C. — — Round two between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson this season will mean a lot more on Saturday as the pair battle in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
No. 2 Notre Dame (10-0) vs. No. 3 Clemson (9-1), ACC championship, at Charlotte, N.C., Saturday. Watch Live Stream
When these two teams last met, Notre Dame (10-0, 9-0 ACC) came away with a double-overtime 47-40 victory on Nov. 7 and Clemson is desperate to make things right again.
The Tigers (9-1, 8-1 ACC) whose only defeat of the season came in that game and when they were the top-ranked team in the country, were without influential starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who missed the game after he tested positive for COVID-19 and wasn’t cleared in time to play.
Lawrence, the likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, has led his team to two national championship games and one national title.
Meanwhile, despite winning the first meeting and sitting above Clemson in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Fighting Irish are still the underdogs entering this marquee showdown.
Clemson Big Favorite vs. Notre Dame
ESPN’s Football Power Index is only giving Notre Dame a 29.4% chance to beat Clemson, which is a 10 1/2-point favorite and will also welcome the return of linebacker James Skalski, who also like Lawrence, did not play in the first meeting.
“It feels good to be at the point where we knew we would be,” Lawrence said. “We weren’t perfect, obviously, but you don’t have to be perfect. These next three games, hopefully, are huge. That’s been our goal the whole time.”
Notre Dame comes into this matchup on a 16 game-winning run, dating back to last season, which is the longest streak in FBS. The Irish, who were an independent for 131 years, are seeking to win their first-ever ACC title. They will be hoping quarterback Ian Book, the winningest QB in program history, can inspire the team to the rare milestone.
In the meantime, Clemson, which has been dominating the ACC, is hunting its sixth successive conference crown under head coach Dabo Swinney