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TCI Game Day: No. 2 Clemson at No. 14 Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s Game Day in Louisville where No. 2 Clemson battles No. 14 Louisville in a game that could decide the Atlantic Division winner in the ACC and has national championship implications as well.

Location: Papa Johns Stadium

Kickoff:  8:12 p.m.

Television:  ESPN

Announcers:  Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor

2017 Record: Clemson  2-0,  Louisville 2-0

ACC/SEC Record: Clemson 0-0,  Louisville 1-0

Series History: Clemson leads 3-0

Last Meeting:  Clemson won 42-36 in 2016 at Death Valley

Clemson Leads Series with Louisville 3-0

Clemson holds a 3-0 lead in the series with Louisville. All three games were played over the last three seasons. The two schools never played until Louisville joined the ACC for the 2014 season.

If Clemson can win at Louisville it would be the fourth time Clemson has won its first four games against a league opponent.  The Tigers won their first 29 against Virginia,
their first seven against Wake Forest and their first four against Syracuse.  Here is a short review of each Louisville game.

Clemson Won 10 Straight on Road

Clemson has won 10 consecutive games on the opponent’s home field. That is tied for the longest road winning streak in Clemson history. The Tigers also won 10 straight on the road from October 7, 1939 through October 24, 1940. That streak ended with a 13-0 loss at Tulane on November 3, 1940.

Austin Bryant National Defensive Player of the Week

Clemson junior defensive end Austin Bryant was named the National Defensive Player
of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation for his performance against Auburn. Bryant
had four sacks and seven total tackles in Clemson’s 14-6 victory. He tied the Clemson
record for sacks in a game with the four as he joined Keith Adams (1999 vs. Duke) and Andre Branch (2011 vs. Virginia Tech).

Another Top 15 matchup for the Tigers

Clemson will face Louisville under the bright lights of ABC’s Saturday Night College Football Package on September 16. Playing in big games is nothing new for the Tigers. It will mark the second straight week Clemson has played in a matchup of top 15 teams.

The Tigers are coming off a 14-6 win over 13th ranked Auburn.  This will be the 10th game the Tigers have played involving two top 15 over the last three years and 30 games. That dates to October 3,  2015 when 11th ranked Clemson played No. 6 Notre Dame at Clemson in the ABC Saturday Night game of the week. Including last week’s victory
over Auburn, Clemson is 8-1 in Top 15 matchups over the last three years.

Clemson vs. Heisman Trophy Winners

Clemson has just a 2-8 record against Heisman Trophy winning players in the year they won the Heisman. One of those wins took place last year when Clemson defeated Louisville and Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, 42-36. The only other victory over a Heisman winner in the year he won the trophy took place in 1980 when Clemson defeated George Rogers and South Carolina 27-6 in the final game of the regular season.

Clemson Has Won School Record 6 Straight vs. Ranked Teams

Clemson’s victory over Auburn on September 9 gave Clemson six consecutive wins over top 25 teams. The streak dates to last year’s 42-36 win over Louisville at Clemson. Louisville was ranked third by AP and fourth by USA Today entering that game. Clemson’s last loss to a ranked team was to No. 2 Alabama in the National Championship game at the end of the 2015 season. The Tigers are 11-1 against ranked
opponents (ranked in top 25 of either poll, 10-1 vs. AP) since the 2014 bowl win over Oklahoma.

Clemson Opens ACC Schedule

Clemson opens its 65th season of ACC football at Louisville.  The Tigers have won the ACC Championship 16 times, the most in the history of the league, one ahead of Florida State. Clemson has won the league title each of the last two years. Three of the titles have been won under head coach Dabo Swiney.

Clemson has been in the ACC all 65 years it has been in existence, one of seven schools that have competed for the league title every year since 1953 (Virginia did not compete for the ACC title in that first year).

According to the ACC record book, Clemson has a 275-142-6 record in ACC games heading into this year. That is a .657 winning percent for its 423 league games. These are regular season games only.  Clemson is 3-1 in the ACC Championship game.

TCI Predictions 

Robert – Clemson 31 Auburn 28

Will – Clemson 37 Louisville 20

 

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