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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Lundberg

#1 Clemson vs #4 Notre Dame 2021 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch In Tonights CFB Game Of The Week

Clemson RB Travis Etienne (SR, 5-10, 210) vs. The 8th Ranked Notre Dame Defense

(Football Scout 365 NFL Big Board Ranking: 25)

The Clemson RB stepped up a week ago in the absence of Trevor Lawrence by compiling 220 combined rushing and receiving yds and two TD's. This week, the Tigers head to South Bend, Indiana, to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame boasts the nation's 8th ranked total defense, but their defense against the run ranks 46th as the Irish have surrendered 562 rush yds on the season (93 yds per game). The Irish only give up 3.14 yds per tote, ranking 15th in this category. Teams have attempted 30 rush attempts per game on average against the Irish defense. You should expect to see a heavy dose of Travis Etienne in the run and pass game for the Clemson Tigers, who will aim to take the pressure off of their young QB D.J. Uiagalelei.

Clemson OT Jackson Carman (JR, 6-5, 345) Vs Notre Dames 16th Ranked Sack Defense

(Football Scout 365 NFL Big Board Ranking: 57)

Carman is a giant; at 6-5 345 lbs, he is the Clemson offensive line's anchor. Carmen's strength is at the point of attack, especially in the run game. This week, Carman will have his hands full facing off against edge rushers Ade Ogundeji and Daelin Hayes. If he comes out of this matchup with a strong showing, he will increase his draft value. Keep an eye on Carman in passing downs; faster edge rushers have been able to beat Carman outside on occasion because he tends to be a step slow in his drop.

Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg (SR, 6-6, 305) vs Clemson's 2nd Ranked Sack Defense

(Football Scout 365 NFL Big Board Ranking: 43)

One word, impressive. Eichenberg has been a player on the rise this season, anchoring a Notre Dame offensive line that averages 5.10 yds per rush attempt. The Irish have been inconsistent on passing downs allowing 11 sacks on the season (66th). Of those 11 sacks, Eichenberg has allowed 1. It is also important to note that he didn't allow a sack in all of 2019. Eichenberg will be tested facing an aggressive Clemson Tigers defense who deploys a lot of simulated pressures attacking from all directions under defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Clemson ranks 2nd in the nation in sacks with 28 on the year.

Notre Dame QB Ian Book (SR, 6-0, 212) vs Clemson's 2nd Ranked Sack Defense

(Football Scout 365 NFL Big Board Ranking: NR)

Ian Book has been consistent but not impressive in 2020. He has thrown 7 TD's and only 1 INT and has the nation's 44th best pass rating (144.0). Book has an opportunity to shine tonight at home, but he faces the nation's 2nd best sack defense. Book is a mobile QB who possesses good arm strength and accuracy. Book tends to exit the pocket early, which is a recipe for disaster against a tricky blitz-happy defense that likes to confuse offenses by simulating pressure from one spot and blitzing you blindly from another.

Clemson beat Notre Dame in the 2018 CFB playoff 30-3. Ian Book was the Irish QB in that game, so Venables knows his tendencies. The Tigers suffocated Ian Book in the passing game; Book threw for 160 yds with 17 completions on 34 pass attempts, 160 yds, 0 Pass TD's, and 1 INT.

*Stats Provided by Football Scout 365 Stats and Research.

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