Coach: Dabo Swinney
Clemson Players to watch:
***Freshman QB Trevor Lawrence (6-5/205)
Lawrence has completed 212-326 passes for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He earned first-team freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets and was a second-team All-ACC quarterback, collecting ACC Rookie of the Year honors as he led Clemson its fourth consecutive ACC title.
*Junior DE Clelin Ferrell (6-5/260)
Winner of the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award, Ferrell leads the 2018 team in tackles for loss (17) and sacks (10.5) along with totaling 45 tackles in 13 games. In his three-year career, he has 47.5 tackles for loss, eighth most in Tiger history, and 26 sacks, fifth most in school history.
Senior LT Mitch Hyatt (6-5/305)
Hyatt is a big reason Clemson is averaging 259.8 rushing yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. The Tigers have also allowed just 14 sacks in 13 games. In his four-year career, he has played 3,624 snaps, most by a Tiger in history.
***Sophomore RB Travis Etienne (5-10/210)
Etienne is among the nation’s leaders in rushing with 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns on 176 carries along with 10 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown in 13 games. His 22 total touchdowns are a school record. He is averaging 112.5 rushing yards per game and 8.3 yards per carry.
Coach: Brian Kelly
Players to watch:
**Sophomore QB Ian Book (6-0/200)
Book helped the Irish rip off eight consecutive victories. Book finished the regular season completing 70.4% (197 of 280) of his passes with 19 TDs and 2,468 yards. He also rushed 78 times for 250 yards and four TDs. Book ranks sixth and eighth, respectively, in FBS completion percentage and pass efficiency. He became the first FBS signal caller to win his first five starts of a season with a completion percentage over 70% in each game since Russell Wilson at Wisconsin in 2011.
*Junior WR Myles Boykin (6-1/227)
Boykin totaled 54 catches for 803 yards, both team highs. He had a stretch of six straight games with at least one TD reception, making him the first Irish receiver to accomplish that feat since Will Fuller.
Senior LB Te’Von Coney (6-1/236)
Coney capped his career by starting all 12 games while recording a team-best 107 tackles (59 solo), 9.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He became the first Irish player to post back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since since Jaylon Smith (2014, 2015).
Senior DT Jerry Tillery (6-7/300)
Tillery started all 12 contests, recording a team-best eight sacks and three forced fumbles. He added 30 total tackles (10.5 for loss) and five QB hurries. Tillery leads all FBS interior defensive lineman in total QB hurries (31), sacks (8.0) and quarterback hits (44).
College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 2 Clemson 30, No. 3 Notre Dame 3