Death in Death Valley

Saturday was a big day for College Football. From UGA vs. Alabama all the way to Notre Dame vs. Clemson, fans of all four teams across the whole country we’re flying to both Athens, Georgia and Clemson, South Carolina to see their beloved teams take on huge competition.

We know Georgia didn’t do so hot, and we could say Notre Dame didn’t either until the very end of their game where timing and a crucial mistake from Clemson could have won the game for the Fighting Irish, unfortunately, it didn’t go that way for the team in blue and gold.

Now, Notre Dame came in as an undefeated team. They were 4-0 ranked 6th in the country and according to Coach Kelly, they had spent the entire week practicing with a wet field and wet footballs, just to prepare themselves for the monsoon that was hitting Clemson during the game.

Perhaps it was the EXTREME noise and chanting that threw off the quarterback for the Fighting Irish, DeShone Kizer. Maybe Kizer couldn’t hear the play calls, but he was overthrowing passes left and right and completely missing his receivers.

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When Notre Dame finally got their act together, they managed a field goal. They were still trailing 14-3, and at this point the rain was coming down in buckets, and the fans of the Irish were starting to lose hope. Mind you, this was a SEA of ORANGE, with an occasional speckle of green.

Now, as a Catholic university, the Notre Dame fans that were in “Death Valley” (what Clemson refers to their stadium as) stayed in the pouring rain and did what Catholic’s do best. They prayed! Jesus must have been listening because as the game went on, Kizer started to get his act together.

Notre Dame comes back in the fourth quarter to score NINETEEN points! The fans are going crazy on their touchdown and start chanting “Here Come The Irish!” The energy in the stadium becomes electrifying and then Coach Brian Kelly makes a major call.

Kelly decides to send the offense back out field after the touchdown. The fans stare in awe. Why go for two when then Irish were LUCKY to have scored a touchdown? It’s pouring rain, the field is a mess, and the kicker, Justin Yoon was 8 for 8 in practice during the week.

With the game in the hands of the Lord, the offense gets out there and attempts two. Kizer steps back, and the fans see his arm stretch back to throw the ball. His arm goes forward and the ball flys out, coming short of the receiver leading to an incomplete pass.

Notre Dame is now down 22-9 and the clock is quickly ticking down. Clemson comes back on the field and by the grace of God, the Irish is able to stop the Tigers from scoring. The Irish get the ball back and the fans are going crazy as they graze down the field. Kizer fumbles the ball, the Irish recover it, keep moving down the field, and finally Kizer runs into the end zone and we end up at 24-16. This time Kelly makes a good call, sending Yoon on the field to kick the extra point, and it is good.

The fourth quarter continues as Clemson MISSES a field goal, giving the Irish the ball. The run it down the field, getting first down after first down. They end up at Clemson’s ONE yard line, and Kizer completes a pass for the… TOUCHDOWN. It’s a 2 point game, which is where it gets interesting.

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With nine seconds left in the game, Coach Kelly has no choice but to send the offense back on to go for two and hopefully tie up the score. Quarterback Kizer comes back on the field and is stopped at the two yard line with no where to go. Notre Dame is down 22-24. The fans in green are in mourning as Clemson begins to celebrate because the game would have been tied if Kelly had not made the call for the Irish to go to go for two originally.

A last glimmer of hope comes in as Clemson gets a penalty for celebration, giving the Irish seven seconds to do an on side kick, recover it, and score. The fans are praying, the Catholics are praying, the coaches are praying, heck even the Clemson Tigers probably joined in on the praying but for different reasons.

The kick goes up, and Clemson recovers it, ending what is probably the wettest game of the season. The Irish fall to the Tigers 24-22, and fall in the rankings from 6th to 15th.

To see the official game stats refer to http://espn.go.com/college-football/matchup?gameId=400756940.

 

 

 

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