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Following Trevor Lawrence’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the goliath bout between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Clemson Tigers on Saturday was up in the air. But now with both teams tested and ready to go, we’re set for the big rematch in South Bend.

Mike Tirico will be on the call from the “574” for NBC and he jumped on The Dan Dakich Show to preview the game. He told DD that the Irish will certainly be prepared.

“If (Notre Dame) wins this game, for the rest of your life you can say you played number 1 at Notre Dame Stadium and won,” Tirico said. “You’ll have that memory last forever. They are handling the moment very well, but in the back of their mind every kid on Notre Dame has thought about that this week.”

Clemson was set to come to Notre Dame Stadium even before the Irish joined the ACC for 2020. But now that this is a conference game, it’s very possible they can meet in the ACC Championship. Brian Kelly’s team surely has not forgotten about the last time the two powerhouses met.

Dabo Swinney’s club handled Notre Dame with ease in the 2018 Cotton Bowl to advance to the National Championship. The Tigers cruised to a 30-3 win and Lawrence picked apart the ND defensive core following a key injury to defensive back Julian Love. Clemson scored 20 second quarter points after Love departed.

But both teams are now different. Ian Book is still under center for the Irish, but he’s now a much more experienced upperclassman. He did not throw a touchdown in the 2018 duel. As reported, Lawrence will not play because of Coronavirus. This is an opportunity for the Irish that doesn’t come around too often.

“Notre Dame hasn’t played anyone but I think they’re good,” Tirico added. “What we have seen over the last few years is this program has gotten better. It doesn’t mean they’re going to beat (the Tigers), but they know they can matchup with the likes of Clemson or Georgia.”

D.J.Uiagalelei, a true freshman, will make his second career start. The California native showed out in a serious way in his full debut last week against Boston College. Uiagalelei went 30/41 with 342 yards and two touchdowns. He also had prior playing experience earlier this year with four “garbage time” appearances in place of Lawrence.

The Irish gave up 26 points to Florida State earlier this year, but other than that have not surrendered more than 13. ND last beat Georgia Tech on the road 31-13.

Enjoy this one. This is the type of matchup we’ve been waiting for since sports officially made its comeback in August.

Irish, Tigers, under the lights in South Bend.

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