Clemson will play in its third College Football Playoff championship game in four seasons after the Tigers used a big second quarter to cruise past Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl.
The combination of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Justyn Ross, both true freshman, broke open a close game before halftime with a pair of long touchdowns.
Lawrence first found for Ross a 52-yard score as he beat man-to-man coverage deep down the sideline. The second strike of 42 yards came 10 minutes later as Ross split the middle of the Irish defense on third-and-14 to put the Tigers ahead 16-3 with 1:44 left in the half.
A late scoring pass from Lawrence to Tee Higgins gave Clemson a commanding advantage going into the locker room.
Lawrence finished the half 19-of-26 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Ross had five catches for 137 yards.
Travis Etienne had the lone score of the third quarter with a 62-yard touchdown run that essentially locked things up for Dabo Swinney's team.
The Tigers will face Alabama in the national championship for the third time in four years. The championship game will take place on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
Defenses had their way early with each team forcing punts on the opening possessions. The Irish got the lone first down when Dexter Williams carried for 11 yards on the first snap of the game.
The Tigers had the first early break when Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book fumbled at midfield on the first play of the Irish's second drive. Clemson recovered, and replay reversed the initial ruling he was down.
The Tigers converted two first down before settling for a 40-yard field goal by Greg Huegel to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Irish didn't wait long to respond. Helped by a pass interference penalty and some effective passes by Book, they drove to the Clemson 9 before Justin Yoon knotted the score at 3-3 with a 28-yard field goal.
TEGNA staff contributed to this report.
Soon after, the Tigers took control and punched their ticket to California.