On the Beat: Swinney ‘couldn’t get Jesus tickets’ to Notre Dame-Clemson

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on his team’s upcoming game vs. Notre Dame: “I said I couldn’t get Jesus tickets. This is a tough ticket out there.” AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer

For the past week and a half, Clemson players and coaches have been inundated with ticket requests from friends, family and long-lost cousins

coming out of the woodwork.

Not everyone will be lucky enough to score a stub granting them entrance to Memorial Stadium this Saturday night.

“I said I couldn’t get Jesus tickets,” Swinney said, an obviously playful nod to Notre Dame’s affiliation with the Catholic church. “This is a tough ticket out there.”

Indeed, the average seat available on SeatGeek, an online ticket marketplace, for Saturday night’s sold-out showdown costs $320, which according to the website is the most expensive ticket to any event in the state of South Carolina since 2010.

Swinney also joked “it’s a little unfair” Pope Francis visited the United States last week, helping Notre Dame improve to 5-0 when a pope is in America with a win over UMass.

Thankfully for Clemson, the pope flew to Rome Sunday, and the Tigers have their own good luck charm.

“We do have Tim Bourret, and Tim Bourret is 2-0 lifetime in these games,” Swinney said, acknowledging the Notre Dame graduate and longtime Clemson sports information director. “He’s been on the winning bus both ways — when he was at Notre Dame in 1977 here and then up there in ’79. He was in Clemson at that time.

“Tim, we’re kind of hoping you can trump the Pope. So good luck.”

Both of Clemson’s top right tackles left the Louisville game with injuries, but both appear to be in good health entering Saturday.

Starter Joe Gore had an ankle injury, but returned to the game Sept. 17 and is fine going forward. True freshman Jake Fruhmorgen, Gore’s backup, was knocked out of that game with a left knee contusion, but Swinney said he’s also fine based on practice this week.

“Jake looked good. Joe looked good,” Swinney said. “They moved around well yesterday, so feel good about them.”

Clemson opened as a two-point favorite to defeat Notre Dame, per Vegas Insider. But the point spread has shifted to a pick ‘em.

No. 12 Clemson is 28-2 at home since the start of 2011. No. 6 Notre Dame is 2-10 on the road against ranked opponents since 2006.