Clemson vs. Notre Dame NCAAF Week 10 Pick and Prediction: Last Road Game for Tigers

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DJ Uiagalelei #5 of the Clemson Tigers carries the ball during the second half of a game against the Boston College Eagles. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images/AFP.

Saturday is the last true road game of the season for No. 5 Clemson as the Tigers go out of conference when they visit unranked Notre Dame.

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Clemson Tigers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 

Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Notre Dame Stadium 

NBC has the telecast of this non-conference matchup; Notre Dame is a member of the ACC in most sports, but is an independent in football. The Irish do play five ACC teams per season, though. 

Notre Dame did join the ACC for the 2020 pandemic season and faced Clemson twice. The Irish were home upset winners in the regular season, 47-40 in double overtime. Tigers star QB Trevor Lawrence was out due to COVID. DJ Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards and two scores in his place.

Ian Book was the Notre Dame QB and thew for 310 yards and a score. Kyren Williams rushed for 140 yards and three TDs. They met again in the ACC title game and the Tigers rolled 34-10.

Lawrence had 412 yards of offense and three touchdowns, and Travis Etienne ran for 124 yards and a score. They are both with the Jacksonville Jaguars now. Book was held to 219 yards passing and no touchdowns. The teams have split the past four meetings against the spread on NCAAF picks

Tigers Playoff Bound? 

Clemson appears to have a pretty clear path to the College Football Playoff as it’s going to win the ACC’s Coastal Division and play in the conference title game and absolutely will be favored in that against most likely North Carolina.  

Coach Dabo Swinney’s team comes a 27-21 comeback win over Syracuse on Oct. 22. Clemson outscored the Orange 17-0 in the fourth quarter. With starting QB DJ Uiagalelei struggling, Swinney replaced him with five-star freshman backup Cade Klubnik.

Uiagalelei had his worst game of the season with two interceptions, he had two in the first seven games, and a fumble that Syracuse returned for a 90-yard scoop and score as the Tigers fell behind 21-7.

Will Shipley’s 50-yard touchdown run with 11:26 to play gave Clemson the lead for good, capping a 172-yard day for the sophomore. The Tigers are now 13-27 under Swinney when trailing after three quarters.

The Plan

Uiagalelei will start here. Offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter says his unit needs to finish drives better. Clemson has been one of the best teams in the nation at getting points in the red zone, converting on 38 of its 39 red-zone trips. But 10 of the Tigers’ red-zone scores have been field goals. 

“It comes down to our execution and being able to finish some of the drives maybe that we’ve been stalling on,” Streeter said. 

The victory over Syracuse was Clemson’s 38th in a row at home, the longest in ACC history. The Tigers’ 14-game winning streak overall is the nation’s longest. They have opened a season 8-0 for the ninth time in program history five of the previous seven went on to play for the national championship (1981, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019).  

Clemson has won 103 of its last 104 games when holding teams under 23 points and has won 35 of its last 42 one-possession games since 2011, the highest winning percentage in the country in one-score games in that span.  The under is 5-1-1 in Clemson’s past seven non-conference games.  

Irish Try to Play Spoiler 

Notre Dame (5-3) is simply playing to improve its bowl standing, it probably would have to win out to reach a New Year’s Six Bowl, and I just don’t see that happening with this matchup and a trip to No. 9 USC on Nov. 26.  

The Irish also come off a game vs. Syracuse, winning 41-24 at the Orange on Saturday in a minor upset. Notre Dame had 246 yards rushing to improve to 103-10 since 1996 when it rushes for 200 yards or more.  

Audric Estime led the ground attack with a career-high 20 carries for 123 yards and two scores.

QB Drew Pyne was 9-for-19 for 116 yards and a touchdown. He took over as the starter after Tyler Buchner went down with a season-ending injury during the Irish’s second game.

The Roaster

The Irish might have the nation’s top tight end in Michael Mayer and he had three catches for 54 yards. He broke Tyler Eifert’s school receiving yardage record for a tight end.  

Irish safety Brandon Joseph had the 10th interception of his career, picking Garrett Shrader’s first pass attempt and racing in for a 29-yard touchdown just seven seconds into the game. Notre Dame also blocked its fifth punt of the season.  

Since the Notre Dame/ACC partnership began in 2014, the Irish are 38-7 against ACC teams and have won 25 straight regular-season games against ACC foes. 

I expect this to be a defensive battle and just don’t think Notre Dame will be able to run well against a Clemson defense allowing only 87.9 yards per game on the ground. The under is 4-1 in the Irish’s past five at home.  

Score Prediction: Clemson 24 - Notre Dame 20 

NCAAF Pick: Under 48 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Under 48 (-110)
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