--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Last year, the Bobby Petrino-led Louisville Cardinals lost to the Clemson Tigers 77-16.
This year, Scott Satterfield’s Cardinals played a better game against the juggernauts of the ACC. While it was a 45-10 loss, Louisville competed for most of three quarters, and at times looked like they could tie the game.
Louisville was within one score deep into the second. The defense picked off Heisman-favorite Trevor Lawrence twice in the first; both in the end zone. Jack Fagot picked up a pass over the middle, and returned it to Louisville’s 12. The second was a deep pass scooped by Russ Yeast.
BT Potter scored the first points of the game; a 51-yard Tigers field goal with 9:27 left in the first. It was the only score in the first quarter.
Joseph Ngata picked up a six-yard touchdown with 10:41 in the second quarter.
After that, quarterback Evan Conley led Louisville’s best drive of the first half. He led the Cardinals through an 11-play, 52-yard drive that resulted in a Blanton Creque 28-yard field goal.
Clemson scored a touchdown with five seconds left in the first half. Compared to the year before, the Cardinals were more impressive. The halftime score in 2018 was 35-3.
Louisville held Clemson to just one touchdown in the third quarter. They forced a three-and-out on Clemson’s first drive, a missed field goal on their second, and a punt on the third. The touchdown came with 1:35 in the quarter. Travis Etienne rushed 49 yards for the score.
The Tigers scored another touchdown with 12:43 left in the game. Frank Ladson Jr caught a 10-yard pass from Lawrence to cap a 63-yard drive. Then, Darien Rencher scored an eight-yard rushing touchdown.
Louisville scored their first touchdown with 5:10 left in the game. Javian Hawkins took a handoff from Conley, found a hole in Clemson’s line, and rushed for the three-yard score.
Clemson responded with a touchdown with one minute left in the game. Chez Mellusi scored on the play from 16 yards.
Louisville moves to 4-3 (2-2 ACC). They will host the Virginia Cavaliers next week, October 26th, at 3:30 pm. The game will be on the ESPN family of networks. It’s the last game before Louisville’s second bye week.
The Cardinals need just two more wins to become bowl eligible.