The No. 1 team in the country was without the top quarterback in the nation on Saturday night in South Bend, but behind a monster game from backup D.J. Uiagelelei, Clemson staged a major second-half comeback to take a lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. What followed was one of the wildest finishes of the college football season, marred by a sequence of incredibly long reviews.
Clemson running back Travis Etienne scored from three yards out to give Clemson a 33-26 lead with 3:33 remaining, and the Tigers defense then forced a turnover on downs to regain possession. Needing to stop Clemson, Notre Dame responded with a crucial three-and-out on defense, and Ian Book led the Irish on a 91-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass to Avery Davis.
In the second overtime period, Notre Dame faced a 2nd-and-20, but Clemson was called for a crucial personal foul for a late hit that gave Notre Dame a first down. An Ian Book pass to Ben Skowronek gave the Irish a 1st-and-goal from the three-yard line, and Kyren Williams scored a touchdown on the next play. Williams opened the game with a 65-yard touchdown run and finished with 140 rushing yards
Notre Dame’s Adetokunbo Ogundeji put Clemson in a major hole with back-to-back sacks of D.J. Uiagalelei, forcing Clemson into a daunting 3rd-and-24 situation. A pass on third down to Davis Allen was incomplete, and with the game on the line, Clemson could not convert on 4th-and-24. Notre Dame students and fans in the stands rushed the field, creating an unreal scene in what has been an unusual college football season.