The Tigers seemed to already have a chip on their shoulder after the loss to the Fighting Irish in South Bend on November 7 and were entering the ACC Championship game with that. No team likes losing, then add in the way some of the Notre Dame fans were acting as they rushed the field, and this Clemson team already had plenty of motivation heading into the rematch.
“I try to block it all out,” Trevor Lawrence said Saturday night after the win. “I just remember a lot of phones in our faces and guys running up to us. I don’t even know what they were saying. They were just yelling and stuff. It’s part of it and they were excited to get the win, but we definitely remembered that.”
You wouldn’t think they needed any other bulletin board material but that’s exactly what Notre Dame QB Ian Book gave them earlier this week.
“I’m excited that all those guys are back and we can play them, and have all those people be quiet once the game is over and we get this win,” Book said last week.
Linebacker James Skalski said that some of the things that were said in the lead up to the game did not resonate very well with the Tigers.
“I sensed a different level in this whole team. We treat every game the same way, don’t get me wrong”, Skalski told reporters. “When you listen to some of the things they said leading up to this game, they definitely pushed some buttons they probably wish they hadn’t pushed”.
The moral to this story goes back to advice that many have given over the years and that is this. You don’t want to poke a sleeping bear. Like I brought up in our previous article about Book’s comment, Tiger fans have a lot to be proud of and one of those things is this, for the most part Clemson players and coaches do their “talking” on the field.