Clemson got three touchdown passes from Deshaun Watson, plus a 24-yard touchdown run by Wayne Gallman to take a 28-10 lead in the locker room on No. 4 Louisville.
The third-ranked Tigers trailed 7-0 after Jeremy Johnson’s two-yard touchdown run with 4:18 to play in the second quarter. Watson responded with nice drive that moved the Tigers to the 15-yard line, but his pass to Mike Williams on first down was behind his wide receiver and Louisville intercepted the ball in the end zone.
Clemson caught a break on the Cardinals ensuing possession. The snap to Lamar Jackson went over his head and bounced off his and running back Brandon Ratcliff’s hands. Linebacker Ben Boulware recovered and the Tigers were in business again.
Two plays later, Watson found Deon Cain behind the Louisville secondary for a 33-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at seven with 7:48 to play in the opening half.
After a Jackson interception and then a Watson fumble, Clemson got the ball back when Ratcliff hit one of his blocker and Clemson took over the Cards’ 38. Gallman then rambled 24 yards for the second touchdown of the night for a 14-7 lead with 6:09 to go.
After stopping Louisville on its next possession, Watson needed three plays to cover 56 yards as Watson found Cain for a second time behind the secondary for a 37-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 3:47 to go.
Following a Blanton Creque 26-yard field with 37 seconds to play in the half, Watson led Clemson on a 4-play, 73-yard drive which he capped with a five-yard touchdown pass to Artavis Scott.
Clemson defense held Louisville to 10 points in the first half and to just 204 yards. The Cardinals came in averaging 63.5 points and 682 yards a game. Jackson, who has 25 total touchdowns was limited to 27 rushing yards was sacked four times, fumbled once and threw an interception.