During third-ranked Clemson’s dramatic 42-36 win over No. 4 Louisville on Saturday night, Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett didn’t let one big mistake stop him from being there when his team needed him to step up and make a play.
In the third quarter, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson completed a pass to Leggett ended in disaster as he fumbled the ball inside the Louisville five-yard line. Instead of celebrating a touchdown with his teammates, Leggett was instead hoping his defense could get a stop.
They did not.
The result was a 14-point swing that continued the Cardinals’ momentum and left Clemson wondering what could have been after Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson scored on a one-yard run with 45 seconds left in the third quarter to cut what could have been a 16-point lead to two points.
“That fumble in the third quarter kind of hurt me, but I was able to make up for it,” Leggett said.
The senior made up for it alright, and then some.
With the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) trailing 36-34 late in the game, Leggett took a pass in the flats from Watson and cut up field where he gained a full head of speed and raced down the far sideline before cutting the ball back inside as he gave Clemson the lead again, 40-36 with a 31-yard touchdown reception.
He then capped off the moment by catching the two-point conversion from Watson to increase the lead to 42-36 with 3;14 to play. It turned out to be the game winner.
“I’m just glad the coaches have faith in me to just come back to me, again. It just felt good,” Leggett said.
So what exactly happened on the game-winning play.
“It was a spread out to the right. I was kind of hanging in there on the right side blocking and I slipped out of the backfield late,” Leggett said. “We had the running back going to the sidelines to get the cornerback out of there and I was wide open.”
Leggett, surprised by the game winning play call, said that it worked out perfect.
“It kind of a of just worked out for me. I didn’t think they were going to call the play but once they called it, it hit perfectly and worked out exactly how we planned it,” he said. “I was wide open running up the sidelines.”
And he ran right into the end zone with the game-winning catch, while making amends for what had happened earlier in the evening.
“It felt great. The stadium definitely erupted. It just felt good to be back on top,” Leggett said. “That late touchdown just felt great.”