Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Brian Kelly talk College Football Playoff
Clemson has one of the most prolific offenses in the country with Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and an abundance of talented receivers capable of making plays.
The Tigers enter the bowl season ranked No. 5 in total offense with an average of 530 yards per game, and Clemson is also No. 5 in scoring offense, averaging more than 45 points per game.
Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love and the rest of the Irish defense will have the task of slowing down Clemson’s high-scoring offense in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 29. Love spoke at the College Football Awards show in Atlanta on Thursday night about what he has seen from Clemson’s offense.
“They’re a very talented team. Obviously, everyone knows that,” Love said. “But I think what makes them different is that they’re tough. And you will see a lot of talented teams that don’t possess those traits to really be gritty and tough. And they have those. And so it’s going to be a battle for sure. I think we match up very well against them. I think we have the right players in the right spots. And it should be a battle in Dallas.”
Love is one of the best cornerbacks in the country, and he was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the best defensive back in college football.
He has not had much time to study Clemson’s receivers yet, but he has started breaking down film of Clemson’s freshman quarterback.
“I know about their quarterback Trevor Lawrence, some of his tendencies, kind of their schemes. And I still have to go in depth on their personnel,” Love said. “Obviously he’s young. You’ll see that in some of his film. But he’s extremely talented. He’s handled the spotlight so well from being the top recruit. He’s ready, and we’re going to try to apply pressure.”
Love believes that Clemson will face a Notre Dame team that is battle tested and ready for its opportunity.
“We’re very talented, and we’re a tough, hard-nosed team. Our defense has showed that all year, that we’re tough,” Love said. “We’ve played a lot of different offenses. And we’ve held them mostly the same way, and that’s just enforcing our will on the opponents. Our offense, I think, is very lethal … When they’re clicking, they’re ridiculously lethal.”
College Football Playoff schedule
The No. 2 ACC champion Clemson Tigers (13-0) will play No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) in the Cotton Bowl at 4 p.m. Dec. 29 (ESPN) at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) will face No. 1 Alabama (13-0) in the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m. Dec. 29 (ESPN) in Miami in a matchup of Heisman Trophy front-runner quarterbacks — Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and the Tide’s Tua Tagovailoa.