It’s Clemson versus Louisville week, which means it’s that time of the year when Clemson fans bite all of their finger nails off.
In each of the three meetings between the two schools, all won by the Tigers, No. 14 Louisville has had the ball with a chance to win the game in the final seconds. Clemson won the first year, 23-17, when DeShawn Williams batted down a pass to the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the one with less than 30 seconds to play.
Two years ago, at Louisville, Clemson safety Jadar Johnson knocked down a Cardinals heave to the end zone on the final play to preserve a hard fought 20-17 victory.
Then there was last year’s classic in Death Valley as the fifth-ranked Tigers survived No. 3 Louisville and Lamar Jackson when Marcus Edmond pushed James Quick out of bounds a yard short of the first down at the Clemson three, with a little more than 30 seconds to play.
“I have a lot of respect for Louisville and their team,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said on Tuesday. “We have had some incredible battles with them and I do not expect this one to be any different.”
The second-ranked Tigers will try to make it four straight over No. 14 Louisville when the two meet at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville, Ky., at 8 p.m., this Saturday night. The Cardinals come into the game 2-0, and again, putting up big numbers on offense.
“They are crazy good,” Swinney said. “It is video-game numbers. It is unbelievable. They are averaging 614 yards a game and 7.6 yards per play. That is incredible and they played two pretty good games and had to put up those numbers. They are impressive.”
In Louisville’s 47-35 win over North Carolina this past Saturday, the Cardinals had more than 700 yards of total offense, with quarterback Lamar Jackson totaling 525 yards of offense, including 393 yards passing and three touchdowns and no interceptions on 25 of 39 pass attempts. He is just the second player in FBS history to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 in back-to-back games.
No surprise, Jackson leads the FBS in total offense (505.0), is fifth in passing (385.0), is 24th in rushing (119.5) and has 8 total touchdowns (5 passing and 3 rushing). He is also completing 64.7 percent of his passes (55-for-85) and most importantly has not thrown an interception or turned the ball over.
“Lamar Jackson is an unbelievable football player,” Swinney said. “He is fun to watch. He is not fun to prepare for. He is not fun to play against. I much prefer to watch him. I enjoy that a lot better. We have our hands full with these guys. He is a player.
“He is averaging 505 yards per game.”
—Photo Credit: Bob Donnan—USA TODAY Sports