Following Clemson’s 30-24 win over Louisville on Saturday night at Cardinal Stadium, former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck gave his takeaways from the ACC Atlantic Division contest.
Hasselbeck was the color analyst for the ACC Network’s television broadcast and provided further commentary on the network after the game, which saw the Tigers’ defense muster a goal-line stand in the waning moments of the fourth quarter to escape Louisville with a victory.
“Dabo Swinney had talked to us about yes, they’ve been struggling offensively, but their defense has been playing at a championship level,” Hasselbeck said. “They needed them to play at a championship level (Saturday night) because they came up with a goal-line stand.”
Louisville rushed for 223 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns against Clemson, with quarterback Malik Cunningham accounting for 134 yards on the ground and two of the rushing touchdowns.
However, Clemson’s defense stiffened up at the goal line when it had to, preventing the Cardinals from punching the ball into the end zone on four tries.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, D.J. Uiagalelei scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 8-yard run with 4:12 remaining after returning from a knee injury he suffered in the first half.
“Four plays from the 2-yard line. It was an outstanding effort by all 11 guys,” Hasselbeck said. “And to think that Louisville had been running the football fairly well on them all night long, just not able to get it done. It was kind of the grit and determination of the group on the defensive side that got it done, and then along with, to be fair, the job that D.J. Uiagalelei did coming back from his own injury.”
With the win, Clemson is still alive in the Atlantic Division race. And while the Tigers will certainly need some help along the way, they still have hope of making it back to Charlotte for a seventh straight appearance in the ACC Championship game.
“Probably too early to count Clemson out at this point,” Hasselbeck said.
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