On the Beat: Clemson, Notre Dame players chirping back and forth

Clemson's Jayron Kearse smiles after making an interception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

CLEMSON – Let the trash talk begin.

After No. 6 Notre Dame picked up its fourth victory of the season Saturday against UMass, the Fighting Irish had the first chance to launch verbal barbs on the matchup while No. 12 Clemson was on its bye week.

In an audio clip with a Notre Dame reporter posted by TigerNet.com, Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell said of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson: “He’s not overly superior or nothing like that. I don’t think he’s a top-five quarterback, but he’s a good quarterback, though.”

On Twitter, Notre Dame star receiver Will Fuller posted Saturday, “Clemson ... promise it’s gonna be #savage.”

Message seen and received by Clemson safety Jayron Kearse.

“Hey, it is what it is,” Kearse said Monday. “After kickoff, we’ll see if he still has that same mindset.”

Kearse later suggested he expects Saturday’s game to be “chippy” and didn’t think too highly of Notre Dame’s reality television program on ShowTime documenting the Irish’s season.

“If we go out there and win a national championship, I could care less about a TV show,” Kearse said. “They can focus on a TV show, we’re going to focus on winning.”

Many players and co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott were asked Monday how they’re handling the inundation of ticket requests for the Notre Dame matchup.

Elliott grinned and said his better half will soon take care of that.

“I am about to cut my phone off and turn that responsibility over to my wife (Tamika) for the rest of the week,” Elliott said.

However, Tamika Elliott’s got more pressing matters. She’s due to give birth to the couple’s second child Oct. 15, two days before the Tigers host Boston College but after home games vs. Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.

“She’s awesome, and I couldn’t do what I do without her,” Tony Elliott said.

The kickoff time for Clemson’s Oct. 10 game against visiting Georgia Tech will be announced either late Saturday or early Sunday.

Because all other ACC games that day are slotted for noon or 3:30 p.m. kickoffs, it is highly expected the Yellow Jackets and Tigers will start in the mid-afternoon or evening.