|Monday, September 21, 2015, 10:26 AM- -|
Due the awkward Thursday night time slot and travel on Friday, I am putting out our thoughts on the Louisville game today.
It was not a great game where the Tigers played well, but there were a lot of positives to come out of the game Thursday. Clemson got a win on the road in a fairly difficult place to play. The Tigers won despite not playing their best on offense.
Defensively, Clemson held the Cardinals to 16 first downs, 272 total yards and 19 yards on the ground. There is an old saying in football that says, "run the ball and stop the run." Clemson out rushed Louisville 202-19.
I thought a big key to the contest was which defense could get off of the field. The Tigers held Louisville to just 2-14 on third down conversions.
Clemson's front four played a terrific game. The Tigers had five sacks including a late sack by
Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
RS Jr. Defensive End
#98 6-5, 268
View Full Profile , who played perhaps the best game of his career. Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Jr. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 272
View Full Profile also was outstanding against the run and the pass.
I thought Clemson's linebacker play was once again solid.
Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 241
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Offensively, Clemson ran the ball extremely well.
Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS So. Running Back
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View Full Profile had perhaps his most impressive outing with 139 yards on 24 carries. Gallman was perhaps the player of the game on offense for a team that had to be able to run the ball to win on the road. That was perhaps the biggest question mark I had coming in.
Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
#4 6-2, 207
View Full Profile was not the superstar we had gotten used to seeing, but he still played well enough to win. He was 21-30 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. He also rushed for 54 yards.
Watson made a few mistakes we had not seen him make. His two interceptions were into double coverage and bad decisions. He also under threw a wide open tight end in what could have been a game clinching first down.
It is clear to me that Watson misses
Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Jr. Wide Receiver
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Gr. Wide Receiver
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View Full Profile has not been productive in his place. Germone HopperGermone Hopper
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Fr. Wide Receiver
#8 6-1, 197
View Full Profile and Hunter RenfrowHunter Renfrow
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
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Myrtle Beach, SC
View Full Profile .
Clemson's offensive line played fairly well considering the the starting center missed the game and the Tigers were down to their third team right tackle in the first quarter.
Special teams were a mixed bag Thursday. On the positive side,
Greg HuegelGreg Huegel
Fr. Punter / Kicker
#92 5-11, 180
View Full Profile made both of his field goals that turned out to be a big key. However, the game would have been a double digit win if it were not for the 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
In summary, it was a win. It was a hard fought road win on a Thursday night on the road in a fairly tough environment. It was also a win that might have had a different result a few years ago.
Now this team gets a week off to prepare for sixth-ranked Notre Dame in what could be the most anticipated game ever played in Death Valley.
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