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#4 Notre Dame beats #1 Clemson 47-40 in double overtime in the Game of The Year

In a fantastic exhibition of the sport, Clemson hangs on in South Bend. Could we see a rematch in the ACC Championship? Or even the College Football Playoff?

Running back Travis Etienne of the Clemson Tigers catches a pass as defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defends in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on November 7, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. Photo by Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images

In what was unquestionably the game of the year in college football, #4 Notre Dame defeated #1 Clemson 47-40 in double overtime.

With 1:48 remaining, Notre Dame took over a punt at their own 9-yard line down 33-26. Four plays later Irish quarterback Ian Book hit Avery Davis for 53 yards on a double move to the post that put ND at the four. Davis caught Book’s TD pass three downs later, and forced the bonus football.

Clemson scored on the first play of overtime it appeared, but an interminable replay review said it was a touchdown for Cornell Powell. And then a second replay review (we’re not kidding, they reviewed it again) said he was down at the 1. Clemson QB DJ punched it in, after yet another replay review of course.

The Irish were to get Clemson behind the chains in the second overtime to force the favorite into a 4th and 24 that came up short.

The ACC officials totally disrupted the flow of the game, and made some bad calls as well.

While Clemson was a -5 or -6 favorite before the game, it appeared these two sides were quite evenly matched on both sides of the ball. Three turnovers by Clemson were the difference, but Book also fumbled just short of the goal line earlier in the third quarter after leading a nice drive. He finished 22/39 for 310 yards and the touchdown to Davis.

Uiagleilei was making only his second college start and first on the road as a true freshman, but performed incredibly well considering he was in his first semester of his senior year of high school at this time last year. He finished 29/44 for 439 yards and two touchdowns.

These two teams could conceivably still play two more times: In the ACC Championship Game, and then again in the College Football Playoff. No two college teams in the AP Poll Era have ever battled three times in one season.