October 1st 2016……
It was early October, 2016, and Death Valley was the setting as Lamar Jackson and third ranked Louisville faced off with number five Clemson. The early season battle of unbeatens ended up being one the most action packed college football game you will see.
However, early on, it seemed as if Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals were overmatched early on, as Clemson would score four second quarter TD’s, and take a 28-10 lead into the half. Plus, the Tigers were receiving the second half kickoff.
On the second play from scrimmage in the second half, a Deshaun Watson short pass would hit Ray Ray McLeod right in the hands. Instead of catching the ball though McLeod took his eyes off of it to quickly, and it went off his hands and into a Cardinal defenders.
Instead of blowing it open, the Tigers were now in for a fight. Louisville scored seven plays later. Clemson’s next four possessions were a three and out, fumble, fumble, and an interception, with Louisville scoring on each ensuing possession, eventually grabbing a 36-28 lead with just under eight minutes left.
Artavis Scott then returned the following kickoff 77 yards, and Watson would hit Mike Williams for a 20 yard TD two plays later. The Tiger defense then forced the Cards into their only punt of the second half, and Clemson went on an 8 play, 85 yard TD drive, finished off by a 31 yard TD pass from Watson to Jordan Leggett. After the successful two point conversion, the Tigers led 42-36.
Louisville had one last shot, as Jackson drove them to the Clemson 9, but could not finish.
Lamar Jackson did however put on a show on this night, with more than 450 yards of offense. He ran the ball 31 times for 162 yards in the loss.
DW4 would not be denied though. He finished up 20-31 for 306 yards, and ran the ball 14 times for 91 more yards. While he did throw three picks in the game, two were passes that should have been caught by his receivers.
This is one that will go down in Clemson lore…..