Clemson and Notre Dame kicked off this year’s College Football Playoff on Saturday afternoon, as the teams ranked second and third in the nation went head-to-head at the Cotton Bowl. Through one half, things couldn’t go much better for the Tigers, as they managed to take a 23-3 lead into the locker room after half an hour.
It looked like Clemson’s lead was going to be a little more manageable for the Fighting Irish, with the Tigers getting the ball on their own 20 yardline following a Notre Dame punt with less than a minute remaining. However, Clemson decided to let freshman gunslinger Trevor Lawrence try and push the ball down the field, and he managed to do just that.
Three plays into the drive, Lawrence connected with Hunter Renfrow for a 32-yard gain. Add in a roughing the passer penalty and the ball got moved up to the Notre Dame 19. One play later and Lawrence connected with Tee Higgins, who showed off some insane hands and footwork to extend the Tiger lead.
It was a dime by Lawrence — who is 19-for-26 for 264 yards with three touchdowns at the half against the vaunted Irish defense — and an astounding catch by Higgins, especially with a defensive back draped all over him. Higgins led Clemson in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns this year, and receptions like this illustrate why.