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Notre Dame 47 Clemson 40: Position Grades

All Clemson takes a look back at the Tigers heartbreaking double overtime loss to Notre Dame Saturday night in South Bend.

For the first time since 2017 Clemson has dropped a game in the regular season. 

The Tigers 47-40 double-overtime loss to Notre Dame ended Clemson's 36-game regular-season winning streak, which was the longest in ACC history. It also ended a school-record 14-game road winning streak. 

Clemson now heads into a bye week hoping to get healthy. The Tigers were missing a multitude of starters in the loss and had a few more players go down with injuries during the game. 

Position Grades:

Quarterback: In just his second career start in place of Trevor Lawrence, freshman D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards and completed 66% of his passes. It was the most yards Notre Dame has ever given up through the air and just the eleventh time ever a Clemson quarterback has eclipsed the 400-yard mark. The Tigers may have come out on the losing end but it was hardly due to the play of a freshman quarterback... A-

Running Back: The Irish came in committed to not letting Travis Etienne beat them and did a good job of keeping the senior back bottled up. Etienne averaged just 1.6 YPC and for the fourth consecutive game had a fumble. Once again it proved costly as Notre Dame returned it for a touchdown. This is something that must get cleaned up during the off-week. Outside of Etienne, only one other running back received a carry. With such a deep stable of backs, the fact that no one has been able to step up and spell Etienne, even for short spells, is mildly concerning... C+

Wide Receiver: One area the Tigers were extremely shorthanded in on Saturday night. Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson out having really limited the offenses ability to stretch the field. At the same time, Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell have really stepped up their game and led the way. Powell has especially started to come on of late, and against Notre Dame looked as good as he ever has. Rodgers did have a fumble though... B

Tight Ends: Not having a full stable of healthy wideouts, Saturday night was the perfect time for the tight ends to step up and make an impact on the big stage. Braden Galloway and Davis Allen combined for 5 catches and 65 yards, with Davis reeling in a huge touchdown late. The two stepped up and helped keep the Tigers in the game, both having key catches in big moments, but Galloway did have a fumble... B-



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Offensive Line: Notre Dame's defensive front had their way with this group. The Tigers rushed for just 34 yards in the game and that just isn't going to get it done against the better teams. In the second overtime frame, when the Tigers needed a score, Notre Dame was able to sack Uiagalelei on consecutive plays and put the offense in a fourth-and-24 situation with the game on the line. It was the only two sacks they allowed but they came at the most inopportune time. After the game offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said they would use the bye week to evaluate the running game and see what can be done to make improvements... D 

Defensive Line: Tyler Davis was missed. The Irish were able to rack up 209 yards on the ground and when the Tigers were able to generate some pressure, more often than not Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was able to escape and make plays running the ball. The defensive front was mostly neutralized by one of the best offensive lines in college football... C+

Linebackers: Overall, not a terrible effort, particularly in the second half. After allowing 144 rushing yards in the first half, some due to bad run fits and terrible angles on tackle attempts, the Tigers adjusted and allowed just 26 yards on the ground in that second half prior to the final drive. The Irish all but abandoned the running game in the second half. Until that final drive anyways. Not having James Skalski and Mike Jones Jr. was huge in a game of this magnitude. The Irish were able to take advantage of some mismatches in the passing game at times, getting their tight ends matched up on freshman Trenton Simpson whose inexperience showed on the big stage in certain moments... C+

Secondary: Ian Book stepped up and made plays in this game, at times throwing the ball into some pretty tight windows. Andrew Booth Jr. and Lannden Zanders going down with injuries really hurt. Inexperience, particularly at safety, was on full display at times... C

Special Teams: B.T. Potter's leg kept this game from getting away from Clemson early on. The junior placekicker hit on all four of his field-goal attempts, two coming from long distance. Will Spiers also had another solid game punting the ball. His average was down a bit on his three punts, but the Irish were putting some pressure on him... A

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