LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Clemson standout Xavier Thomas stayed home Saturday and didn’t travel because of a concussion he suffered during practice earlier this week.
The second-ranked Tigers rolled Louisville 45-10 to stay unbeaten and extend their win streak to 22 straight victories.
Clemson (7-0, 5-0 ACC) won in large part to its salty defensive effort, it held Louisville to 263 yards of total offense which marked the seventh straight game allowing less than 300 yards, the longest streak of such at Clemson since 1956 when they had eight in a row.
Junior defensive end Justin Foster knew with Thomas out for the game he had to step up for his defense.
“Coach (Dabo) Swinney challenged us at practice because he was down and he’s one of the most talented guys on the team. It’s a loss when he’s not on the field so I accepted the challenge,” Foster said.
Not only did Foster accept the challenge, but he excelled against the Cardinals. The junior finished the game with five tackles, 2 sacks, 5 tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and contributed to an interception thanks to pressure.
Swinney was impressed with the junior’s contribution to the team’s success and knew it was much needed without Thomas.
“XT out today was a big loss for us but Foster stepped up for us I am really really proud of him,” Swinney said.
Foster didn’t want a repeat of the North Carolina game in Louisville and kept his focus on stopping the Cardinals’ prolific offensive attack.
“Last time we were on the road we didn’t play too well so we knew we had to smack them on the mouth,” Foster said. “They are a really good team so if you let them hang around it could’ve gotten bad. Defensively, we just played hard and physical.”
Clemson is back in action next Saturday as it hosts Boston College at 7:30 pm.
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