Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Clemson to Test Louisville's High-Powered Offense

Clemson to Test Louisville's High-Powered Offense

Clemson and Louisville have grabbed all the headlines this week, and deservedly so.

The 11 takedowns were the second most in team history (12 against Furman in 1996) and the most in a game in 13 years.

Clemson started the season with the weight of the world on its shoulders. But there is plenty to look for this weekend, including the Heisman Trophy victor facing the reigning national champions and a fierce SEC rivalry game. Swinney and the Tigers went on to win the national championship.

Will Kelly Bryant show up on the road? The Clemson defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season, surrendering just 9 total points over their first two contests.

Bryant has looked very impressive since taking over for Watson.

However, the main reason for the Tigers' success this season is its defense. He threw the ball 44 times, ran it 31 times and came up one play short.

The five losses came against Houston (twice, home and away), LSU (2016 Citrus Bowl), Pittsburgh (away, 2015) and Clemson (home, 2015). One player, in particular, to look out for is a junior defensive end, Austin Bryant. Louisville's offense has plenty of skill, like receiver Jaylen Smith, but a retooled offensive line doesn't bode well against a Tigers defense that's littered with first round talent.

Something will have to give when No. 14 Louisville hosts No. 3 Louisville on Saturday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in front of a nationally televised audience on ABC. Jackson, on the other hand, still seemed to be a relative unknown heading into the 2017 campaign, and many around the country would be hard-pressed to identify the Louisville quarterback. Jackson made headlines previous year for his astonishing season which culminated in a Heisman Trophy. The then-sophomore rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 295 yards and another score.

And the UCLA Bruins are three-point road favorites against the Memphis Tigers, with a 70.5 total.

Jackson dented Clemson for 457 total yards and three touchdowns last season, though the Tigers survived, 42-36. This season, the Cardinals seek revenge in front of their home crowd.

We'll get you ready for Week 3 with five things to watch, including Lamar Jackson's Heisman statement against the reigning national champs; Florida coach Jim McElwain being on the hot seat; the week's biggest upset possibilities; and a deep dive into Academy football against the top 10. Jackson is a better overall quarterback than he was when these teams played a year ago (and Jackson had 457 yards and three touchdowns), and that will allow him to mitigate the clear advantage the Clemson defensive line has going into the game.

Jarrett Stidham led Auburn on a long, starting drive that took them all the way to the Clemson 1.

The Tigers will have their hands full next week when they head to No. 14 Louisville and try and slow down Heisman Trophy victor Lamar Jackson.

As for my prediction, I have to side with the Tigers. The team needs Jackson to play well in order for the Cardinals to have a chance and I think Clemson's defense is up to the challenge. USC displayed a physical and balanced offense, embarrassing a Stanford defense which prides itself on its toughness. You can sign up for Sling TV's free 7-day trial. The Watch ESPN app can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store, and the Google Play store. I'm already writing sports articles for the Daily Cardinal (a school newspaper).

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