(6) Notre Dame at (12) Clemson
Notre Dame– Everybody thought they would start to struggle when Zaire went down with the injury, but they’ve done the complete opposite. DeShone Kizer has come in and done a terrific job filling in at quarterback and it also helps when you have one of the best defenses in all of college football and a very solid running game which leads me to talk about that. C.J. Prosise is one of the very best running backs in the country. He can do everything. He runs it consistently, he can bounce inside and out and he catches the ball very well. In a game where there are so many running backs such as Fournette, Derrick Henry and Chubb, Prosise is just as good as those guys and is a sleeper candidate for the Heisman. It’s another primetime game for the Irish as they face Clemson tonight at Rock Valley.
Clemson– They’ve been considered a sleeper pick to many to make it to the College Football Playoff this year and prior to the season starting, DeShaun Watson was one of my Heisman candidates and he still is. He’s led them to a 3-0 mark. Clemson is ranked ninth in total defense. They allow 260 yards per game but they haven’t truly been tested yet and I’m not saying that’s their fault because you play who you play on your schedule. The offense has taken a hit without their leading receiver Mike Williams who broke a bone in his neck in the first game of the season and hasn’t played since then. He’s been Watson’s key guy down the field especially on the deep pass and now a majority of Watson’s passes have been short. This is a big one for Clemson tonight with Notre Dame coming to town.
Prediction: This will be Clemson’s first true challenge of the season. The quarterback play will be huge in this one. Clemson needs a collective effort to shut down Prosise because the Irish will feed him the football as often as possible. For Notre Dame, limiting Watson to get into the open field is key and they need better play from their secondary. I like Notre Dame on the road in this one. Notre Dame 20 Clemson 17.