Brian Kelly warned players fans will storm the pitch after Notre Dame defeats Clemson

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – During the Notre Dame team’s visit ahead of Saturday’s game against No.1 Clemson, coach Brian Kelly issued a proclamation and warning.“I just want you to know,” Kelly told the players, “when we win this thing, the fans are going to take the pitch by storm. ”

Kelly added that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes a recent increase in cases on the Notre-Dame campus, players have to leave the field as soon as possible after the game.

“Coach Kelly, you might as well call him a prophet,” said linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. “Prophet Kelly”.

Kelly’s words came true moments after the No.4 Notre Dame claimed a 47-40 win over Clemson in two overtime on Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium. Students stormed the pitch from all four corners of the stands, creating a mass celebration in the middle of the pitch. Notre Dame limits attendance by students, faculty and varsity staff – other than the players’ families – and although Saturday’s game draws only 11,011 people, most of them appear to be entering the field at the end.

“With COVID as it is, we have to get off the field and go to the tunnel,” Kelly said. “Now I beat them all in the tunnel. So it didn’t go so well, but they reminded me that I told them that, so my prognosis skills were pretty good today. ”

The Notre Dame public announcer repeatedly asked fans to leave the pitch, but many stayed for several minutes.

Clemson’s players and coaches quickly walked out of the tunnel in the northeast corner of the pitch, as most of Notre Dame’s players and coaches made their way to their tunnel. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he has no fear of the Notre Dame fans running on the field, saying: “It was an epic game.

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams said he was late for the locker room after the game because he had to go through so many fans who entered the pitch.

“It was a cool experience for me with everyone rushing,” said Williams, who had never witnessed a storm on the pitch before Saturday. “Coach Kelly told us before the game this was going to happen. … He told us to get home quickly after the game. ”

Wide receiver Avery Davis said he “scrambled” during the storm on the pitch, but added, “I loved the energy. ”

The ACC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the storm on the pitch at Notre Dame, a member of the soccer league this season. Notre Dame recorded its ninth victory against an AP No.1 team and ended Clemson’s 36-game winning streak in the regular season on Saturday.

“This is something that you are waiting for with our big fans and our big community around us, they are really, really passionate about us playing football,” Owusu-Koramoah said. “You’d expect something like that, storm the pitch, beat the No.1 team. [Kelly] told us to get out of there if they stormed the field, but it’s a bit difficult, so we just celebrated with them. ”

Senior quarterback Ian Book rallied Notre Dame on a late touchdown to force overtime, then directed two touchdowns in extra sessions.

“A night that I will never forget, whatever my age, I know I will remember this game forever,” Book said. “Just a special moment. … When the fans took to the pitch it was actually pretty cool. It was really fun. ”

On Tuesday, the university reported 38 positive tests, followed by 71 positive tests on Wednesday and 29 tests on Thursday. The Notre Dame football team experienced an outbreak at the end of September that forced a September 24 game in Wake Forest to be postponed to December 12.

Notre Dame President Reverend John Jenkins tested positive for COVID-19 in early October and came under closer scrutiny for his approach to the virus after his appearance at the Rose Garden ceremony the White House to celebrate the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. .

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