The 2019 College Football Playoff begins when the unbeaten No. 2 Clemson Tigers (13-0; ACC champions) play the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0; independent) in the Cotton Bowl from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday afternoon.
The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including all the ESPN channels. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN and ESPN 2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Additionally, you can also watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
Clemson finished undefeated during the regular season for just the second time in school history. The first time came back three years ago in 2015; the Tigers eventually fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide 45-40 in the National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona — they would, however, extract a bit of revenge the following year when Deshaun Watson led a game-winning drive to win the national title as time expired.
The Tigers made national headlines when several players failed drug tests leading up to this game. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway will not play on Saturday after being suspended for testing positive for a banned substance called ostarine — a product generally designed for muscle growth.
On Monday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke to reporters Monday to address the incident in detail.
“We’re just kind of at the mercy of the process. And then there’s an appeal after that, but that doesn’t really help with this game.
… And so we’ll deal with it accordingly, hope for the best, hope that the B-sample will come back and they’ll be cleared to play. But if not, we treat it as an injury. We’ve got to get ready to move forward. And our goal has not changed, just to play the best four quarters of the season.”
The b-samples came back later in the week with the same original traces of the substance, which means each player’s suspension was upheld. This may prove disastrous for Lawrence’s draft stock. Lawrence was acknowledged as one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation this season, and was regularly listed in the top 10-15 range of most expert’s 2019 NFL Mock Drafts.
This is Notre Dame’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff. The last time the Fighting Irish earned the opportunity to play for the National Championship, they were defeated at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide 41-14 back in 2012.
Head coach Brian Kelly remains from that year, although the job he has done with the 2018 team may ultimately surpass his effort in 2012. Notre Dame is still known for being a tough team to play defensively, but offensively is where this team may set themselves apart.
Early in the season, senior Brandon Wimbush was replaced at quarterback with junior Ian Book before Notre Dame’s fourth game against Wake Forest. The Fighting Irish offense responded in a big way, and became more productive and dynamic with Book under center. Book finished the season completing 70.4% of his passes for 2,468 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Clemson knows quarterback changes all too well as well. True freshman Trevor Lawrence replaces Kelly Bryant, just like Book replaced Wimbush. Lawrence guided the Tigers to an unbeaten record, and will look to our duel Book in a matchup of quarterbacks that didn’t start the season for their respective programs.