Mukuba makes 'some amazing plays' as freshman safety helps close out win

Mukuba makes 'some amazing plays' as freshman safety helps close out win

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Mukuba makes 'some amazing plays' as freshman safety helps close out win

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. Andrew Mukuba might’ve hit a wall, but the true freshman safety stepped up when Clemson needed him the most on Saturday night.

During Clemson’s 30-24 win over Louisville, the true freshman safety made stops on second and fourth down as Louisville looked to drive the ball down the field. Granted, the Cardinals wound up getting the ball one final time, but Mukuba’s strive to make plays with the game on the line helped give Clemson some extra cushion room.

Mukuba sacked Malik Cunnigam for a loss of four yards on fourth-and-5, forcing a turnover on downs. Three players later, B.K. Potter nailed a 40-yard Field Goal to extend Clemson’s lead to six.

“He made some amazing plays,” Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said postgame, “just closing on the football and knowing when to take a shot, so to speak, that’s what the good players can do. Man, he can really close. A terrific athlete like Cunnigham in space, to not only run him down but to get him down, is just amazing. I’m really proud of Andrew.”

The youth of Clemson’s defense rose to the occasion, even if the unit turned in arguably one of its worst performances of the season. Trenton Simpson, who had his best game to date, acknowledged how crucial Mukuba’s tackles were down the stretch of Saturday’s game.

“That was major,” Simpson said postgame. “He’s a true freshman. He’s playing so good already. That’s just huge for his confidence, for everybody to believe in him. There’s a lot of young guys out there playing defense for us right now, so everybody out there making plays is awesome and I know Coach V is proud of us.”

Mukuba came to the rescue for a defense that struggled to contain Cunnigham all evening. Granted, Louisville’s signal-caller was hobbled and clearly not 100% throughout the second half, but he still kept the Cardinals in the game. 

Regardless of that proverbial wall, Mukuba was there when it counted. Again.

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