The luck of the Irish ran out tonight in Arlington.
The Clemson Tigers and their dominant defense steamrolled the previously undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a final score of 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl to book their spot in the College Football Playoff national title game. The game's momentum shifted early on a controversial call, where referees ruled a Clemson fumble that had previously been recovered by Notre Dame in the red zone actually went out of bounds--just barely.
That unlucky bounce set off a series of unfortunate events in what was a night full of them for the Irish. The Tigers soon turned that momentum swing into a deep touchdown from Trevor Lawrence to Justyn Ross...
...which was quickly followed by another....
Justyn Ross having an absolutely dominant second quarter.— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) December 29, 2018
0 catches in first quarter
5 catches for 137 yards and 2 TDs. Looking like @darealmike_dub when he scored 3 TDs in a half a few years ago. #Clemson #ALLIN #CFBPlayoff #CottonBowl pic.twitter.com/S8DKuRQTkc
...and one more with two seconds left in the half--only this time, the pass was to Tee Higgins, who made a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone.
That Higgins TD made it 23-3 Clemson at the half, and completely deflated any confidence Notre Dame may have had. A Travis Etienne 62-yard rushing touchdown added to the differential, but the game was decided long before that.