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  • Writer's pictureBlake Holzgrafe

NOVEMBER 5, 2022 at NOTRE DAME STADIUM Notre Dame Fighting Irish v. Clemson Tigers

NOVEMBER 5, 2022



Notre Dame Fighting Irish


Clemson Tigers

For those of you who were around from 1951 to 1964 and followed Clemson football (both of you know who you are), you will see on the cover of this piece the Clemson logo used during that period. Look closely and you will see, in addition to the “C”, an emaciated Tiger. Call the SPCA!! Well, someone must have called the Society for the Protection of Clemson Athletes, and they finally decided to feed that Tiger, cuz now look at its BIG PAW PRINT!

Clemson returns to Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since way back in 2020. That game was played before an intimate group of fans, consisting of parents and students.

Also watching that game was this guy, who was not only a ★★★★★ recruit but also the overall #1 coming out of high school and then #1 overall coming out of college.

In that game he was replaced by DJ Uiagalelei who had a big game against the Irish passing for 439 yards and 2 TDs although in a losing effort. DJ’s uniform number bears his ★★★★★ recruiting status.

The Tigers and the Irish have one common opponent in the Syracuse Orange. In the Tigers rumble with the Orange, DJ must have been spinning discs as he had 2 INTs and a fumble that produced a 90-yard TD the other way. This DJ heard the music and was replaced by the #2 Clemson QB, Cade Klubnik, who as the #2 QB wears the #2. And, by the way, Cade, who is only a Freshman, continues the tradition of being a ★★★★★ recruit.

Which leads me to suggest that when Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees put their children to bed at night (OK, FOR TOMMY THAT IS A FUTURE EVENT!), instead of this

They say this:

“Star light, star bright,

5 ★★★★★, I see


I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Have you on my team

tonight. “

For this game, however, I am more concerned about this guy.

Will Shipley wears a singularly significant number (#1). In the 2021 recruiting cycle, he was #1 on the Irish Board and his decision came down to Clemson and the Irish. On that decision, the Irish were #2. Today, despite finishing #2 then, The Irish will be #1.

For those Irish fans bemoaning the decision to hire Marcus Freeman as the new Irish Head Coach, what do you think Clemson Tiger fans were thinking when Dabo Swinney was named the Clemson Head coach in the middle of the 2008 season replacing Tommy Bowden?

He had never even been a coordinator and was the Wide Receiver coach for the Tigers. The first thing he did was fire the Offensive Coordinator! Kind of like firing your boss, right?

Dabo is, you might agree, one of the top Head Coaches today. And, what do you think his record was in his first years as the Clemson Head Coach? I will tell you:





And, while we are at it, Nick Saban is up there as a top Head Coach. How was his debut as a Head Coach at Michigan State:





Of the current top coaches who enjoyed highly successful debut Head Coaching seasons, Ryan Day and Lincoln Riley had one thing in common. A damn good QB. Ryan’s QB was Justin Fields who finished 3rd in the Heisman voting while Lincoln’s Sooner team was led by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.

Do you see a pattern here?

★★★★★ QBs

Heisman Candidates?

So, for those of you who are overboard from the Marcus Freeman ship, grab hold of this

Digging into Dabo’s history at Clemson, when he was hired as the Head Coach, he was considered a top-notch recruiter. He got the Tigers on the recruiting prowl, and that transferred to being on the prowl on the football field.

The 2020 Irish win over the Tigers was cemented in large part on the play of the outstanding O-line of Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, Jarrett Patterson, Tommy Kraemer and Robert Hainsey. In that game the Clemson D-line featured Bryan Bresee, K.J. Henry, Myles Murphy and Tyler Davis. Three were ★★★★★ and the 4th was a ★★★★. Well, folks, they be back!!.

While they are big boys, they have with one exception little boy numbers; Henry (#5), Bresee (#11), Davis (#13) and Murphy (#98).

In 2020, Kyren Williams opened the game with a big-time, long TD run. The Irish need at least one, if not two, big plays for scores. Who will it be?

“Merriweather? Perhaps a big surprise, but with strong winds in the forecast, passing may be challenging. Then, again, maybe the wind will help some of Pyne’s passes being put back on line?”

“He will emulate Kyren for crying out loud.”

“Please keep adding on to the TE records!”

“Sot is solid”

“If he don’t fumble, he can really rumble.”

And, there is one more . . .

Maybe if he could just wear the Shamrock Series Uniform? His form has been off (WAY OFF) the last two games and it cannot continue that way against the Tigers.

With all of that being said, look for this to happen!:

Notre Dame 27

Tigers 21


It has, of course, been said many times before, and bears repeating, for this week . . .

But, lest I forget, my weekly pictorial presentation of the Irish offensive player with the BIGGEST number but the smallest body . . .

Blake Grupe (#99).

I continue to get a kick out of watching him (but the miss at Syracuse did trigger some Grupe gripes).

Here are the answers to your Irish Trivia Questions from last week.

1. Who holds the Notre Dame career record for interceptions with 17? Hint: He is not a member of the 2022 Fighting Irish. Luther Bradley

2. Who holds the Notre Dame career record for “touchdowns responsible for”? This official NCAA statistic is a combination of passing and running scores. Brady Quinn

3. This linebacker holds the Notre Dame career record for most tackles. And, what makes this player’s tackling prowess even more amazing is he holds the 1st, 2nd and 4th records for most tackles in a season. Can you name him? Bob Crable

Here are your Irish Trivia Questions for this week.

1. Who holds the Notre Dame career record for most yards passing?

2. Who holds the Notre Dame career record for most yards rushing?

3. Who holds the Notre Dame career record for most yards receiving?

And, of course, our hearts forever . . .

. . . Love, thee Notre Dame!

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