No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame Set to Clash in 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic
By Office of Communication
Posted on December 03, 2018, December 03, 2018

At&t Stadium

The CFP Selection Committee has spoken. The No. 2 Clemson Tigers and the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming to North Texas for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The game will kick off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington December 29, 2018 at 3 p.m. CT.

Clemson and Notre Dame will match up in a bowl game for the first time in the storied history of both universities. The last meeting between the two occurred in Death Valley in 2015 when the Tigers narrowly took the Irish 24-22.

"Throughout the 83-year history of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, we've only had one other matchup of undefeated teams." Carl Ice, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Chairman said. "Needless to say, we are elated to have Clemson and Notre Dame in what should be an extraordinary Classic. Hats off to Coach Swinney and Coach Kelly for a remarkable season, and rest assured, we will put on a great show for both teams."

The Irish will be making their eighth appearance at the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame played back-to-back years in 1993 and 1994, both victories over Texas A&M. This will mark the 40th anniversary of the famous "Ice Bowl" where Notre Dame's Joe Montana connected with Kris Haines to cap an incredible 23-point fourth-quarter comeback over Houston in the 1979 Classic.

Clemson heads to North Texas for just its second appearance in the Cotton Bowl. Head coach Jess Neely led the Tigers to a 6-3 victory over Boston College in 1940. Neely went on to coach Rice to three appearances in 1950, 1954 and 1958. Neely was inducted posthumously into the Classic Hall of Fame in 2001.

The only other Classic battle between two undefeated teams occurred in 1948 when Doak Walker led SMU against Penn State, but the Mustangs came in with one tie. Nittany Lion running back Wallace Triplett scored the tying touchdown, but the extra point failed, and the game ended in a 13-13 tie. Triplett was just inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in April before passing away last month. Walker was inducted as part of the inaugural Classic Hall of Fame Classic.

"These two remarkable teams will come in with a goal of playing one more game," Rick Baker, Goodyear Cotton Bowl President/CEO said. "That said, Clemson and Notre Dame student-athletes, band members, spirit squads and fans all deserve to be rewarded for their tremendous accomplishments this season. Our staff, board of directors and all of North Texas will welcome both teams with open arms."Clemson and Notre Dame have played four common opponents this season, all from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Both played Wake Forest, Syracuse, Florida State and Pitt, and against the common opponents the Tigers scored 191 points and gave up 46 while the Irish tallied 153 points and gave up 57.

The Tigers defeated Pitt last night, 42-10, in the Dr Pepper ACC Championship. Notre Dame finished the regular season with a tough-fought win over USC in Los Angeles, 24-17.

Classic tickets sold through the Cotton Bowl office are sold out. Fans are being directed to go to Ticket Exchange, the official resale marketplace of the Classic. The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be televised by ESPN.

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