Clemson Football vs Louisville: Who has the Advantage?


The Clemson football team will travel to Louisville tomorrow night to take on the Cardinals. Let’s see who has the advantage on each side of the ball.

The Clemson football team will play the Louisville Cardinals Thursday night for their ACC conference opener. The Tigers are 2-0 to begin the season after they picked up wins against Wofford and App State, while the Cardinals fell to 0-2 after a loss to Auburn and Houston a week ago. I look for Clemson to have some troubles this week, especially with all the talent Louisville possesses.

More from Clemson Football

This Cardinal team is much better than their record shows and this should be a good match up. Clemson football is currently a 6-point favorite on the road, but look for Louisville to give their best performance of the season. I preface these things by saying some of the “slight advantages” are because we don’t quite know what each team is capable of yet. With that being said, let’s take a look at who has the advantage.

When Clemson has the ball:

When Clemson has the football, we know what to expect from a play maker standpoint. You are going to see Deshaun Watson, Artavis Scott, Charone Peake, and Wayne Gallman. Those guys will need the offensive line to give Watson time and Gallman will need some holes to run through. Defensively, Louisville has a very good front-seven and a mediocre secondary. Their secondary has some talent, but will not be able to hang with Clemson’s wide receiver group. If the Tiger offensive line can give Deshaun Watson time to throw the ball and open up holes for the running game, it could be a long day for the Cardinals.

Advantage: Slight to Clemson

When Louisville has the ball:

Clemson’s defense is already at a slight disadvantage because they don’t know who will be the primary quarterback of the Cardinals. Louisville will most likely use both Lamar Jackson and Kyle Bolin. When Bolin is on the field, you can expect to see a good pocket presence and a steady arm with little running ability. When Jackson is on the field, you can expect to see elite running ability and a scramblers’ mentality in the passing game. Both quarterbacks, however, have wavered under pressure. Louisville’s offensive line has been sub par at best, so far, and Clemson’s defensive line needs to take advantage and bring pressure and force some turnovers.

More from Rubbing the Rock

Advantage: Clemson

Special Teams:

Louisville kicker John Wallace has started his year off just 2 for 5 on field goal attempts, but is 3 for 4 from attempts with 49 yards. He is definitely a strength of the special teams for the Cardinals. Greg Huegel of Clemson got his first three attempts and made two of them Saturday. However, Clemson’s kick coverage team has been inconsistent and the punting game looked good last week, but the week before was horrid. All the inconsistency and being on the road makes it tough for me to pick the Tigers in this aspect of the game.

Advantage: Louisville


This is last and final area of the game we will look at. Coach Petrino and his staff do a great job and have had great success at Louisville. However, I still believe in Dabo, Brent Venables, and the offensive tandem of Jeff Scott and Tony Elliot to coach the better game. This one will be closer than the last two weeks, but the Clemson coaching staff is one of the best in the country.

Advantage: Slight to Clemson

Overall, Clemson football has two slight advantages and an advantage on defense. Honestly, we don’t know what either of these teams present or bring to the table yet, but I like Clemson’s chances of going on the road and winning Thursday night.

Next: Clemson vs Louisville: Q&A with Cardinal Sports Zone