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Clemson offense takes aim at struggling Louisville defense


by - Senior Writer -
Clemson's offense faces a struggling Louisville defense Saturday.
Clemson's offense faces a struggling Louisville defense Saturday.

CLEMSON – The Louisville offense is humming right along this season, putting up enough points and yards to win four games and overcome a sluggish defense. That defense is what Tony Elliott and the Clemson offense will be aiming for Saturday.

The Cardinals are ranked 24th in scoring offense (37.3 points per game) and 16th in total offense (489 yards per game). The defense is a polar opposite, ranking 97th in scoring defense (31.7 points per game) and 101st in total defense, giving up 431 yards per game. Louisville gave up 59 points, 40 first downs, and 668 total yards (423 through the air and 245 on the ground) last weekend at Wake Forest.

Elliott, Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator, says the Cardinals look like they are settling in on defense.

“You know, watching Louisville, it's tough to get a bead on them," Elliott said. "It looks like they wanted to do one thing starting the season and now they're kind of settling in. They do some things different from a coverage standpoint than what we've seen in the last couple of weeks. We're really going to have to challenge our guys to be locked in. The good thing is there's some similarity in the front, so the last three weeks you've played a similar front, but they do some different things on the back end. The biggest thing for us is we're going to have to just communicate.”

Elliott said the Cardinals are playing with effort, unlike last season when the Tigers put up 77 points.

"Last year, I think at that point in the season, they knew something was going on with the coaching staff and it wasn't a lot of fight and effort in them. This year, they're playing hard,” Elliott said. “They're probably not the biggest guys, but they'll play their technique and helps them be more active.

“They're playing hard. Looks like they're believing in the scheme. The video came out of coach (Mark) Ivey, so they'll play with some fire and tenacity and that's what you see. Playing hard and they're making some mistakes which is what you see out of a new staff and system, but overall, playing a lot harder."

Elliott hopes the Clemson offense can get off to a fast start in a hostile environment.

"Obviously, they're going to be excited to play,” he said. “I'm sure they're going to have some wrinkles. They've given up some rushing yards, and some gains, they're giving them some passing yards, and so the biggest thing for us is if we can get off to a fast start and be efficient, and then just kind of get a feel for what they're going to do."

"They're just playing hard. It looks like they believe in the scheme. You can tell, I think, that those guys are going to play with some fire and some tenacity. That's what you're seeing. They're playing hard they're flying to the football. They still make a couple of mistakes that you can tell with the new unit playing together and each week when you game plan you're going to have different wrinkles. But overall they're playing a lot harder."

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