The Hangover, Part IV: Scouting Notre Dame

Notre Dame running back C.J. Prosise (20) celebrates a touchdown with Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Notre Dame defeated Georgia Tech 30-22. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Who: No. 6 Notre Dame (3-0) at No. 11 Clemson (3-0)

When: Oct. 3, TBD

Where: Memorial Stadium (81,500) | Clemson S.C.


Line: TBD

Opposing beat writers to follow: Eric Hansen (@EHansenNDI) and Mike Vorel (@mikevorel), South Bend Tribune

What to know about Notre Dame: To say the Fighting Irish have been “snakebit” by injuries; let’s try “eaten alive by ravenous anacondas.” Quarterback Malik Zaire, running back Tarean Folston, defensive lineman Jarron Jones, nickel back Shaun Crawford, tight end Durham Smythe and safety Drue Tranquill are all lost for the seasons with injuries. Tranquill was the latest inexplicable loss, celebrating a pass break-up to the end zone vs. Georgia Tech and tearing his ACL in the process Saturday. Head coach Brian Kelly: “I don’t know what to say anymore. You can’t explain it.” ... still, Notre Dame is 3-0 for the second consecutive season, and back in the top six after spending three weeks there in 2014 before a heartbreaking loss at Florida State on Oct. 18 sent the Irish spiraling to five losses in six games ... right now, the reinforcements for Notre Dame include sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer, senior running back C.J. Prosise, sophomore tight end Tyler Luatua and sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Cage ... against Virginia and Georgia Tech, the 6-4, 230-pound Kizer completed 69 percent of his passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns against one interception, with only nine rushes for 17 yards ... on defense, nobody has more than one sack through three games, and the Irish has forced two turnovers while only committing two. Notre Dame is 29th in scoring and total defense.

When last they met: No. 14 Clemson 16, Notre Dame 10 on Nov. 17, 1979 in South Bend: Billy Lott scored a late touchdown, future All-American kicker Obed Ariri booted three field goal and the Tigers’ defense, which would end up the third-stingiest scoring defense in the country, held Notre Dame to 168 yards as the Tigers came back from 10-0 down. Per a Clemson release, it was only Notre Dame’s second loss in 40 years on Senior Day.

All-time series: Tied 1-1. No. 5 Notre Dame knocked off No. 15 Clemson 21-17 in 1977 at Memorial Stadium, when Joe Montana outdueled Steve Fuller and the Irish erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to sustain what would become Notre Dame’s tenth claimed national championship season.

Which Clemson Tiger is licking his chops: Sophomore running back Wayne Gallman, whose 24 carries for 139 yards at Louisville were exactly what the doctor ordered for a Tigers’ offense that would be simply lethal with a strong multifaceted running game.

Who’s keeping the Clemson coaches up at night: Prosise, who has filled in excellently for Folston. A converted wide receiver, the 6-foot, 220-pound Prosise is sixth in the country in rushing. He has 451 yards on 59 carries, a sparkling 7.6-yard average, and four touchdowns, including three vs. the Yellow Jackets.

Extra point: Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret, in his 38th year serving the Tigers’ athletic department, earned his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame in 1977 and his Master’s degree in communication arts the following year, the same academic year of Notre Dame’s first meeting with Clemson.