This time last year, Jimbo Fisher was trying to get his Florida State Seminoles prepped for what they were about to see from Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Lamar mania was just taking off and Jackson took it to another stratosphere when he went off for 216 passing and 146 rushing yards, while totaling five touchdowns in a 63-20 victory over Florida State. It marked one of the worst defeats in the history of Florida State football.
The following month, Fisher and the Seminoles hosted Clemson in Tallahassee, Fla., and the Tigers’ massive and athletic defensive front sacked FSU quarterback Deondre Francois six times and hit him even more in a game the eventual national champions rallied to win.
So if there is anyone who knows what to expect from Clemson’s and Louisville’s strengths in Saturday’s ACC Atlantic Division Showdown, it’s Fisher.
“Your defensive front can set the tone for a game,” Fisher said on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday. “No matter how great your quarterback is if they can’t protect him … but then the escape ability and the creativity in which Lamar has create another set of problems because you want to lay your ears back and go sack him.
“But at the same time, if you get out of a rush lane, he can create so many problems down the field whether he is running or throwing it in that regard.”
Of course Fisher can talk about the Clemson at Louisville game because his team is off for a second straight week after the Seminoles’ scheduled game with Miami was moved to Oct. 7 due to the affects from Hurricane Irma, who battered Florida earlier this week.
So Fisher, like a lot of people in America, will be watching Saturday’s 8 p.m., kickoff between No. 2 Clemson and No. 14 Louisville, on his sofa on ABC. He can’t wait to watch the matchup between Clemson’s defensive line and Jackson.
Last week, the Tigers had 11 sacks in their win over No. 15 Auburn, while Jackson accounted for 525 total yards and six touchdowns against North Carolina.
“It is going to be a chest match,” Fisher said. “Brent (Venables) will have to bring different blitzes and I’m sure Bobby (Petrino) will have different protections. You have two great coaches on both sides of the ball that are going at each other and two great teams.
“It will definitely be a great matchup and there will have to be some guys around Lamar to help him make plays, but at the same time they (Clemson) are going to have to take those limits away and try to contain him in the pocket.
“That is going to be heck of a game to watch. You have to great teams on both sides and two great teams in general. It will be a great matchup.”