Clemson Football Analysis: Thoughts on Louisville


 Well today is game day and Clemson football’s first big test of the season. Not only is Louisville an ACC opponent but also a desperate team with an 0-2 record playing at home. The Tigers will have to bring their best effort to Papa John’s Stadium in order to get their first conference win and keep their championship aspirations alive.

This week, I will start my piece with a brief look back at the last meeting between these two teams, Clemson’s 23-17 victory over the Cardinals at Death Valley.

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Clemson football finished the 2014 season as the #1 rated defense but coming into last year’s contest Louisville held that distinction and thwarted the Tigers offense most of the game. From the very beginning, it showed its muscle by stopping the Tigers offense and even picking off Deshaun Watson. Watson left the game with a broken hand in the first quarter and the offense finished the half with 70 yards but Clemson led 14-10 in part due to Adam Humphries punt return and a Grady Jarrett TD(endzone fumble recovery).

The second half was more of the same as two very good defenses controlled the game. Louisville did manage a TD and the Tigers could only generate three Ammon Lakip field goals with his last one giving them a 4th quarter lead of 23-17 with 1:24 left. Louisville got the ball and Will Gardner found WR James Quick for 73 yards. After three tries to score on the Clemson goal line, Louisville got one last chance for a road win at Death Valley. Watch the final play.

Just a few thoughts on the Appalachian State 41-10 victory by the Tigers.


  • Deshaun Watson was sacked 3 times and overall the offense struggled to run the ball.
  • The defense had 10 tackles for loss but generated only one sack.
  • For the second week, the special teams defense was slow to get to the returners-this must change.


  • The defense was dominant once again, and the secondary and defensive line continued their excellent play.
  • Watson looked poised and he showed that he isn’t afraid to scramble. Which is a good sign that his knee is 100%.
  • Andy improved his punting from 33.8 yards per punt to 43.5.
  • Charone Peake caught two TD passes and looks like he is ready to try to lead the receivers.

Coach Swinney was once again able to get a lot of players in the game and the Tigers are now 2-0.

Two of our favorite fans Layla and Dustin Ewald( August Fans of the Month) made the trip from Charleston(SC) to Memorial Stadium to watch their beloved Tigers and shared a few photos.

Layla and Dustin Ewald.

Here are my ACC notables from last weekend’s slate of games.

  1. Syracuse beat Wake Forest 30-17 to get its first conference win of the season.
  2. Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire fractured his ankle and is likely out for the season. Backup QB Deshone Kizer saved the day and threw a game winning TD pass to WR Will Fuller to pull out a 34-27 win at UVA.
  3. FSU running back Dalvin Cook torched South Florida for 266 yards and was a bright spot in the struggling Seminole offense.
  4. Boston College scores 62 at halftime and goes on to a 76-0 win over heavily overmatched Howard University. The two teams agreed to play 20 minutes instead of 30 mins in the second half because otherwise BC would have scored 100 points.
  5. Ga Tech rambles to beat Tulane 65-10.
  6. Miami, Pittsburgh, Duke, Virginia Tech, UNC, and N.C. State all got wins against lesser competition.

Since this was such a short time period between games and my editor Andrew Boardwine has done such a great job of covering tonight’s game. I just wanted to mention a few things about the game.

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Sacks. In 2014, Vic Beasley sacked the Louisville QBs three times and you will definitely see a few sacks between these two defenses tonight.

Returns. Both teams have had trouble with their special teams defense and both have good returners, so I expect to see a TD in the return game.

NFL scouts. There will be some NFL scouts at the game to watch the great athletes on both defenses and also a few on the offenses.

Pizza, Pizza!! There will probably be fewer Papa Johns pizzas delivered to Clemson fans homes tonight as they watch their Tigers play in Papa Johns Stadium. I have Domino’s on speed dial myself.

Gametime is 7:30 and the nation will be watching. Dabo has primed his Tigers for primetime and he only sees these games as steps to completing the rise of the football program.

We at RubbingtheRock would like to send prayers to Teresa Tyler, Miriam Cribb and the Tyler and Ewalds’s families. Speedy recoveries and Go Tigers!

Next: Clemson vs Louisville: Cardinals to Watch