Okay, now it’s time to get serious. The bowl games up to this point have been solely for exhibition purposes. But tonight’s games are for real.
Clemson and Notre Dame start the semifinal action at 4:00 pm in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers’ offense led by freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence boasts the nation’s #8 passing offense and #22 rushing attack. I can’t think of an offensive attack faced by the Fighting Irish this season that’s in the same zip code, and I expect it to be a monumental challenge for the boys from South Bend.
Defensively Clemson will be without standout defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, held out due to a positive drug test. But they will have a host of other standouts on the field from the ninth ranked defense in the nation, including defensive end Clelin Ferrell (10.5 sacks on the season).
If Clemson’s defense is vulnerable it may be in the secondary. Notre Dame’s Ian Book has completed 70.4% of his passes on the season, many of them to big receiver Miles Boykin.
In the end, my money is on Clemson. But this one could be closer than some are expecting. No matter what, it should be entertaining.