Clemson Tigers vs Louisville Cardinals: Battle for ACC Football Supremacy

It’s a clash of ranked foes in the ACC on Saturday afternoon at Papa Johns Stadium when the second ranked Clemson Tigers takes on the fourteenth ranked Louisville Cardinals. Coming into this game, the Tigers have won all three meetings between the two schools by a total of 15 points, including last year’s  42-36 thriller.

Last week, Clemson found a way to stay unbeaten when they toppled the Tigers from Auburn to the tune of 14-6. The Tigers certainly weren’t spectacular but kept Auburn’s offense in check and allowed their offense to do just enough to get the victory. Clemson relied on their stout defense to get the win as they kept Auburn from scoring any touchdowns, recording an amazing 11 sacks. Clemson’s defense stands fifth in the country allowing a meager 4.5 points per game.  The offense is lead by quarterback Kelly Bryant, who won the starting job with the departure of Deshaun Watson. While not as agile or mobile, Bryant has done well in moving the offense along and looks as if he will continue to do so for head coach Dabo Swinney.

The Cardinals’ side currently stands 2-0 as well. In their last victory over North Carolina, reigning Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Lamar Jackson, was at his best once again. He tossed the ball for almost 400 yards while running it for another 132. Overall, he was responsible for six of the seven Cardinals’ touchdowns in the contest. Overall, he has already amassed 771 yards passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions, along with 239 yards rushing and three scores on 40 carries. This match-up against Clemson will truly be his toughest test of 2017. The problem lies with the defense, as Louisville is tied for 97th in scoring defense and 123rd against the pass. Things won’t get any easier when the Cardinals face the Tigers’ passing attack.

There will be a lot of eyes will be focused on both Clemson Tigers and Louisville Cardinals as they battle it out for what could be the ACC title. The Tigers showed off their offense in the opener, then relied on defense against Auburn. Honestly, both looked capable when the game plan called for their performance. Louisville’s defense hasn’t impressed anybody so far as the Tar Heels once again had their way with the secondary. Lamar Jackson is doing just about everything to put enough points up to win the shoot-outs. This will definitely be a barn burner, and the winner may have the leg up in bringing home the ACC Title to their respective programs.


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Nick Ficorelli

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