Tiger takedown: Notre Dame routs No. 4 Clemson 35-14

Published 11:12 am Sunday, November 6, 2022

SOUTH BEND — The Notre Dame football team turned in a game for the ages against No. 4-ranked Clemson Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish dominated both sides of the ball on their way to a 35-14 win over the Tigers that was not as close as the score indicated. The win is the program’s first as an unranked team since 1982, when Notre Dame beat No. 1-ranked, Dan Marino-led Pittsburgh 31-16.

The Fighting Irish special teams got the ball rolling first with a Jordan Botelho punt block — its sixth of the season — that was caught and returned for a 17-yard touchdown by Prince Kollie to give the Irish a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter Drew Pyne capped an 11-play, 78 yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown just before the break to give Notre Dame a 14-0 lead heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Fighting Irish defense intercepted freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik at the Clemson 14-yard line and Audric Estime found the end zone a few plays later with a 2-yard touchdown to make it a 21-0 game with 14:37 remaining in the game.

As if it was not already over, Brendan Morrison returned a Uigalelei interception 96 yards for a touchdown to give Notre Dame a 28-0 victory with 12:58 left in the game.

Clemson was able to get on the board in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard Will Shipley touchdown to make it 28-7 with 10:14 remaining.

But the Irish were not done. On the ensuing drive, Pyne connected with Michael Mayer for a 17-yard touchdown pass, giving Mayer 16 touchdown receptions for his career, surpassing Ken MacAfee for most-all time in program history.

The Tigers rounded out scoring with a 4-yard Uigalelei pass to Joseph Ngata in the closing minutes.

The Fighting Irish outgained the Tigers 348-281, including a 263-90 advantage in rushing yards.

Pyne completed 9 of 17 passes for 85 yards and rushed for 22 and a score. Logan Diggs led Notre Dame on the ground with 114 yards on 17 carries and Audric Estime had 18 for 109 and a touchdown.

Uigalelei completed 27 of 39 passes for 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Will Shipley tallied 12 carries for 63 yards and Davis Allen caught seven passes for 60 yards. Ngata added four catches, 22 yards and one touchdown reception.

Notre Dame (6-3) will travel to face Navy at noon Saturday, Nov. 12.