October 10, 2014

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Louisville

The Louisville Cardinals will make the seven-hour trek to Clemson for the first time ever in the history of the two programs.

The Cardinals are the newbies in the ACC and with the departure of Maryland, the Tigers are looking for a new rival.

Could this be the beginning of a great series? Only time will tell.


WHAT: Louisville at No. 25 Clemson
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
WHEN: Saturday, October 10th (3:37 p.m.)


*DEFENSE: The Louisville Cardinals are bringing in the nation’s top ranked defense to Death Valley Saturday afternoon and if linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin’s comments are any indication, they fully expect to shut down quarterback Deshaun Watson and Clemson’s offense. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a touchdown in the last 13 quarters dating back to their 23-21 loss to Virginia on Sept. 13. The Cardinals have allowed just five field goals over the last 13 quarters. In the red zone this season, the Cardinals have allowed the opponents to score just five touchdowns in 16 opportunities.

The Cardinals have held five of their six opponents to less than 100 yards rushing after limiting Syracuse to 55 yards on Oct. 3. Louisville is 17-0 when allowing an opponent to rush for less than 100 yards in a game since the 2012 season. Louisville is allowing just 58.3 yards per game on the ground, which leads the ACC. The Cardinals are allowing just 2.0 yards per carry (350 yards on 174 attempts) with a long run of 26 yards.

The secondary has a wealth of experience – there are two seniors (cornerback Andrew Johnson and safety Terell Floyd) and two juniors (Gerod Holliman or James Sample at safety and cornerback Charles Gaines) in the starting rotation. Holliman leads the nation with seven interceptions.


*BEASLEY, JARRETT & COMPANY: If Clemson’s defense is mentioned in the national media the first name that comes up is senior defensive end Vic Beasley, who is tied with Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams for most career sacks. However, senior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett might just be the most dominant player on Clemson’s defense. This week Beasley, Jarrett and the rest of Clemson’s defensive line will have the opportunity to tee off on an offensive line that has been…..less than stellar. The Cardinals have allowed 19 sacks this season – 3.17 per game – for 142 lost yards.

*HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The last time Louisville played in front of a crowd as big as they will see in Death Valley was in 2000 win the Cardinals traveled to Florida State. Add in the fact that Louisville’s starting quarterback will either be sophomore Will Gardner or freshman Reggie Bonnafon – neither of which have experience in front of a large hostile crowd. Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino didn’t do his offense or signal callers any favors when he told the media that Death Valley can’t possibly be any louder than Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, only fueling Clemson fans’ desire to make Memorial Stadium the most difficult place to play in all of college football.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Louisville’s defense has put up great numbers through the first six games but they’ve yet to face an offense that’s ranked higher than 60th nationally. Mauldin will have his defensive teammates emotionally prepared to begin the game but Watson and the Tigers’ air raid attack will simply be too much for the Cardinals to handle. Offensively, Louisville wants to run the ball but outside of the fourth quarter at Georgia to begin the season, Clemson’s defense has been stellar against the run. The game may be close at halftime but the Tigers begin to pull away in the third quarter.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele

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