SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame is just under three weeks away from taking on Clemson for a chance to play in the National Championship. But believe it or not, the Irish were close to not even being at this point.
In Notre Dame's final game of the regular season against USC, the Irish trailed at halftime for the second time of the year.
However, Notre Dame came out red hot in the second half scoring on its second drive. But that might not have happened if it weren't for Irish safety Alohi Gilman's half time speech.
Gilman challenged his teammates to leave everything out on the field - and it worked - as Notre Dame sealed its undefeated season with the 24-17 victory over the Trojans.
Gilman says he had to step up and say something.
"I'm not the most vocal but when I'm passionate about something I feel like I have to say something," Gilman said. "After Coach Kelly spoke, I asked him if I could say a couple of words and that's the passion that came out of that moment. I was passionate about it. Passionate about my teammates and just letting them know we weren't leaving without a win and that's what he did.
"I'm just so happy and proud of them and this opportunity. You can tell at that moment you know a lot of guys looked each other in the eyes and we knew we had to get things going, and we did exactly that."