Clemson at Louisville
Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky
12:00 PM ABC
Generally speaking, the Cardinals were a good addition to the ACC. Unlike the additions of Pitt and Syracuse before them, Louisville’s football program has the potential to do good things, and the school doesn’t always primarily focus on hoops. Unfortunately, they banked on Bobby Petrino as being the guy to get them to reach that potential, and it backfired in their faces. In a big way. Petrino was fired after last season’s 2-10 season, and left a huge mess.
Scott Satterfield was brought in from App State to clean up that mess, and through the teams first six games it seems as if the Cards have possibly gotten it right this time. At 4-2. they already have more wins than many of the so called experts thought they would have all season, and they play hard.
Clemson will be looking for another well balanced attack on offense, like we saw a week ago vs FSU. The Cards should expect to see plenty of Travis Etienne and Lyn-J Dixon, as the Tigers will wont to establish the ground game.
Louisville is 80th nationally when it comes to defending the run and 104th against the pass. Get the ground game going, and Trevor Lawrence and his group of receivers will have plenty of opportunities to burn the back end of that Cardinal defense. Add in that the Cards have issues generating pressure, so this offense could be in store for a very productive day.
The Louisville offense has been fairly productive itself. The Cards are third in the conference in rushing and fifth in passing, giving them the ACC’s third best offense statistically. They actually average just eight less yards per game than Clemson. A large part of that has been due to the emergence of redshirt freshman RB Javian Hawkins, who is the ACC’s second leading rusher behind BC’s AJ Dillon.
That running game has opened up the passing game for the three QB’s that have taken snaps this season. Jawon Pass started the season as the starter, but was injured. That opened the door for Malik Cunningham, who came in and played exceptionally well, but then he went down injured in their last game against Wake. Next up was true freshman Evan Conley, who helped lead the team to a 62 point offensive explosion vs Wake Forest.
Pass has been ruled out for the season and Cunningham’s status is still unknown, so it is likely Conley gets the start. Not that it really matters who it is, as this Cardinal team has not faced a defense the caliber of which they are about to say. Even without Xavier Thomas, who is unlikely to play due to a concussion, this front should have its way against an OL that has already given up 14 sacks.
The dominating win over FSU wasn’t a one off performance, it was the beginning of this team getting in shape for the stretch run. The Tigers have superior talent, are a more balanced team, and this game is for a leg up in the Atlantic. This Cardinal offense is good, they will be competitive, but they can’t keep up. This defense was specifically designed to shut these type of spread offenses down…… Clemson 45 Louisville 20
Over in the Junkies Facebook group, we asked for your predictions. We thought we would share a few here. Anyone that predicts the final score correctly will win a free clemsonjunkies.com tshirt!
- Chris Matney- 56-10
- Douglas Ham- 42-24
- Bo Cunninham- 49-17
- JoAnn Rogers- 33-32
- David Smith- 47-21
- Chad Keith- 63-10
- Carolyn Knight- 42-7
- Sandy Moody- 59-10
- Ray Lundy- 45-13
- Samuel Clemons 56-14
- Adam Westbury- 47-21
- Tyrone Burwick- 63-24
- David Nidiffer- 52-6
- David Posey- 51-19
- Terry Grant- 59-10
- Tom Russell- 48-17
- Steve Williams- 42-10
- Jim Corley- 48-17
Shockingly, not one person picked the Tigers to lose….. again