Jay Bramblett just became a hero for Notre Dame football with this impressive tackle.
If not for Notre Dame football holder Jay Bramblett, the Fighting Irish would have been kick-sixed.
Up 23-13 with seconds left before halftime, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish attempted a 57-yard field goal to try to make it 26-13 Golden Domers. It would have been a career-long for kicker Jonathan Doerer. The Clemson Tigers wisely put running back Travis Etienne at the back of their end zone in case Doerer’s attempt came up short. What happened next was almost a disaster.
Doerer’s kick was short and Etienne had plenty of green grass to potentially hit special teams pay dirt on. It looked like Etienne was off to the races before Bramblett channeled his inner Pat McAfee and did it for the brand. His punishing tackle near the sidelines helped stave off humiliating embarrassment for the Irish. The best part is Bramblett is a Tuscaloosa native.
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This is yet another prime example of how crucial special teams are to a team’s overall success. Notre Dame is trying to pull off the home upset of the perceived best team in college football. They cannot allow the Tigers to crawl back in this one. It could have been a 10-point swing had Etienne scampered all the way from the Clemson end zone to the Notre Dame end zone.
Attempting long field goals in college with next to nothing on the clock is not the best idea. For the Alabama Crimson Tide, it was different back in 2013, as it would have been the game-winning field goal in the Iron Bowl over the arch rival Auburn Tigers. For Notre Dame, this would have been only a rude flex on Clemson. The Irish are not good enough to let Clemson get back in this thing.
Without Bramblett, this may have been a totally different ball game entering the second half.