--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals head to Death Valley on Saturday, hoping to hang with the Clemson Tigers. The game is at 3pm, and will be on ABC.
If you haven’t heard, the Tigers are very good at football. Like many recent years, the Tigers are in the initial top four of the college football playoff poll. They’re number two. And rightly so. Clemson’s offense is stellar, and its defense is near the top.
In terms of scoring defense, Clemson allows the least amount of points in the nation. Opponents score a mere 13 against Brent Venables unit.
Their opponents haven’t been bad, either. The Tigers knocked off Texas A&M in College Station, defeated Syracuse at home, and shelled a good NC State team 41-7; after NC State defeated two consecutive ranked teams.
Opponents convert just 26.19 percent of third down tries. Opponents have also committed 13 turnovers. NC State QB Ryan Finley threw two interceptions against Clemson.
Offensively, freshman QB Trevor Lawrence has done a great job under center. In all eight games, Lawrence completed 115 of 176 for 1490 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. His rating is a good 164.18.
Sophomore Tee Higgins has been Lawrence’s favorite target. The Sophomore has made 32 receptions, 6 of which were touchdowns. Four players have three or more touchdowns: Higgins, Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers, and Diondre Overton.
The passing is not bad. Clemson’s rushing attack is also good.
Sophomore Travis Etienne leads the ground attack. In 108 attempts, Etienne has rushed for 845 yards, and reached the end zone 14 times. He leads the entire team in scoring; with 90 points.
All of the players above will most likely be active against the Cardinals.
The only area that is lacking is on special teams. Senior placekicker Greg Huegel has made just seven of ten field goals. He has completed all 39 extra-point attempts, however.
Clemson is as scary an opponent as Louisville has had. The last time the Cardinals went to Clemson, the Tigers narrowly won; and was helped by James Quick stepping out of bounds short of a first down on 4th and short.
It would be a shock if the game was that good. The Tigers opened as 37.5-point favorites. If there’s one thing to look forward to Saturday, it’s the men’s basketball scrimmage against Simmons College.