The Fighting Irish dug deep to beat the Tigers 47-40 Saturday night, marking their first win over a No. 1 ranked team since 1993. If there were ever a time to rush the field, it would be now – if you ignore the current situation regarding COVID-19.
Fans (limited to around 11,000) rushed from the stands with both teams still on the field – a move that could have easily jeopardized their seasons.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly knew the fans would be tempted to storm the field after a win over Clemson and warned his players to usher themselves back to the locker room after the game.
“With COVID being as it is, we’ve got to get off the field and get to the tunnel,” Kelly said after the game, via ESPN. “Now I beat ’em all to the tunnel. So that didn’t go over so good, but they reminded me that I did tell them that, so my skills of prognostication were pretty good today.”
But the players didn’t seem to mind
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen any college storm the field. That was a cool experience,” running back Kyren Williams said, quickly recalling coach’s advice, “He told us to get inside after the game as fast as we could.”
Quarterback Ian Book said: “When fans stormed the field, it was fun.”
Notre Dame has seen an uptick in cases this past week, which prompted the concern after Saturday’s game. There were 38 positive cases reported on Tuesday, 71 on Wednesday, 29 on Thursday and 17 on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.