LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lamar Jackson got his own on Saturday night at Papa John’s Stadium, but No. 2 Clemson got more.
Though last year’s Heisman Trophy winner threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns, it was Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant and the defense that shined as the Tigers dominated No. 14 Louisville, 47-21, in Louisville, Ky.
It was Clemson’s fourth straight win in the series, but the first time the game did not come down to the final seconds. The previous three meetings were each decided by three points or less.
Clemson (3-0, 1-0 ACC) got 316 passing yards and three total touchdowns from Bryant, while Dorian O’Daniel’s 44-yard interception return for a touchdown with 8:57 to play in the third quarter gave the Tigers a 26-7 lead and began the rout.
Bryant finished the game completing 22-of-32 passes. The Tigers finished the game with 613 yards overall. Clemson ran for 297 yards.
It was O’Daniel’s first career touchdown and Clemson’s first turnover of the season. It was also Jackson’s first interception of the season. The Tigers later got a 1-yard Bryant touchdown with 2:16 left in the third to put Clemson up 33-7 at the time.
Following Jackson’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith early in the fourth quarter, running back Adam Choice rumbled 39 yards for a touchdown and a 40-14 lead with 11:56 to play in the game. Jackson was just 21-of-42 overall through the air.
Jackson and the Louisville offense finally got things going in the fourth quarter after falling behind 33-7, but Clemson’s defense did its job. They held Jackson to 118 passing yards through three quarters and just 62 rushing yards.
The Cardinals (2-1, 1-1 ACC) had just 219 overall after three quarters.
Clemson owned the first half as it took a 19-7 lead into the locker room.
Bryant was 17-of-27 for 238 yards and one touchdown in the opening 30 minutes, while the defense limited Jackson to 8-of-20 passing for 83 yards and one touchdown.
Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud had seven catches for 115 yards, including a 79-yard bomb from Bryant that gave the Tigers a 16-7 lead with 4:06 to play in the opening half.
The Tigers finished the opening half with 334 total yards, while holding Louisville to 154 yards. The Cardinals were 0-for-6 on third down. Clemson was 6-for-12.
After stopping Jackson on the game’s opening drive, Clemson went on a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive for the game’s first touchdown. Bryant capped the drive with an 8-yard run with 9:45 to play in the first quarter.
The touchdown was set up when Bryant found Renfrow for a 40-yard gain. Bryant was 4-for-4 for 53 yards on the drive and ran twice for 11 yards.
Jackson and the Cardinals tied the game late in the first quarter when he scrambled and found tight end Charles Standberry in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown with 4:22 to go in the first quarter. That capped a 95-yard scoring drive that took just three plays.
Clemson regained the lead with 6:57 to play in the second when kicker Greg Huegel made a 31-yard field goal for a 10-7 advantage, it was his first of the season.
The Tigers scored again on the next possession as Bryant found Ray-Ray McCloud streaking down the near sideline wide open for an easy touchdown.
Huegel again connected on a 49-yard field goal this time, a career long, with 28 seconds left to play in the first half for a 19-7 advantage.
Clemson will come back to Death Valley next week to take on Boston College for a 3:30 p.m. kick.