The Clemson defense came out fierce against No. 15 Auburn this past Saturday in Death Valley. It held the SEC Tigers to just 117 yards of total offense and recorded 11 sacks.
But a new task is now at hand as the second-ranked Tigers face the No. 14 Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Louisville, Ky.
Ryan Carter knows what the secondary will be up against but if their performance is anything like it was last week then they should be just fine.
“Every game against Louisville is big,” he said. “It’s the type of game that you know beforehand is going to be one of those dogfights from the first quarter to the fourth so I think it’s going to be really big for us to just prepare the way we always prepare and it’s going to be one of those games as always.”
Playing a tough offense which includes Lamar Jackson, one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football means there is no room for error. That doesn’t mean the Tigers should press but they have no room to let up at any point during the four quarters.
“We just have to keep fueling the gas from the first quarter to the fourth quarter and make sure that we don’t drop off if we start to get a good lead,” said the redshirt graduate. “We just have to keep going, whoever gets in the game we have to have that mentality of ‘finish it,’ 60 minutes or however long it takes to finish it so I’m really excited about the challenge.”
Jackson’s athleticism makes him difficult to contain but Carter along with the rest of the Tigers have full confidence in Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant and feel that going against someone with his particular type of style in practice each day is great preparation for what they will face Saturday.
“It’s definitely big because having to go against Kelly Bryant, who can tuck the ball, run and scramble definitely makes us ready for a type of Lamar Jackson,” said Carter. “I’m always saying we aren’t going to be overwhelmed by what we see because we have such great talent on the field here. Just being able to go against Kelly and being able to limit him based off of what we see in practice every day.”
However, Jackson is not the only player to focus on as the Louisville offense as a whole is extremely dominant. The receivers and running backs could pose a threat as well.
“I definitely think they are going to bring great energy as far as their technique,” he said. “I had a little bit of a chance to watch them against North Carolina (this past weekend) and they did a lot of big things.
“A lot of things that we are going to have to try to watch on film and study them and make sure that we will be able to limit them and things that Lamar Jackson is able to do. I think the biggest thing is getting in the film room and starting to prepare on what the receivers are going to bring.”
The win over Auburn was huge for the Tigers but this weekend is even bigger and they will need to carry the momentum from that victory over both offensively and defensively.
“I feel like our offense is fine,” Carter said. “I feel like our defense is playing at a really high level and it’s great to see that vs. Auburn because I feel like we didn’t get as big of a chance against Kent State. It was good to see that and know that we can rely on our defense to make big plays and maybe keep us in the game if need be but I think we both work together on offense and defense. I really enjoyed watching our offense play. They played really well.”