Last season, it was Carlos Watkins who saved Clemson’s unbeaten season with a two-point conversion stop against Notre Dame. This year, it was Marcus Edmond that kept the Tigers’ national title hopes alive.
The fourth-year junior hit veteran Louisville wideout James Quick down low on the left sideline as the Cardinals were driving in an attempt to tie the game. His tackle spun Quick around backwards, forcing the football back to the three-yard line. Louisville needed to get to the two, and the game was over. Third-ranked Clemson escaped Memorial Stadium with a 42-36 victory over fourth-ranked Louisville on Saturday.
A career backup that has started at times this season but was listed as a second-teamer on Saturday, Edmond was one of the most effective deterrents to Louisville’s attack in the defensive backfield. He finished third on the team—and first among DBs—with 11 tackles against the Cardinals. Eight of his hits were solo, but none of them were as important on this night or impactful for this season than his fourth-down hit on Quick.
This isn’t the first time such a play was required to defeat the Cardinals, either. Two seasons ago, Deshawn Williams batted down a pass at the goal line to save a victory against Louisville—just four plays after Jayron Kearse made a game-saving tackle. Last season, Jadar Johnson had the late interception that sealed a victory in a Thursday night slugfest at Papa Johns Stadium.
It seems the Clemson-Louisville game is destined to end on a defensive stand by the Tigers each year. Edmond just made himself a part of that brief but illustrious history with a hit that came a yard sooner than Bobby Petrino would have liked.
–Photo Credit Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports