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A Game for the Ages: A Fan’s Perspective on the Louisville Game

Kim Montuoro, Staff

Fans celebrate during a Clemson game in Death Valley.

Never in my life have I seen so much effort from one football team. On Saturday night, the Clemson Tigers beat the Louisville Cardinals 42-36 in a thriller. As a student at the game, I saw so much effort from both sides of the ball that I need to split up my thoughts.

As far as the offense goes, how about the word “clutch”? Stringing together two drives in the fourth quarter to come back from a 36-28 deficit is not something to be taken lightly. Deshaun Watson and crew showed moments of greatness that are only seen in a national championship team. 

That being said, all it takes is to look at their third quarter showing to bring their comeback down to earth. After outscoring Louisville 28-10 in the second quarter, the offense completely stalled out to allow the Cards to score 26 unanswered points in the second half. 

As far as the Heisman race goes, I’m not sure if “clutch” will cut it for Watson. Yes, he threw five touchdowns for 306 yards, but the turnovers have to stop. You can say that one or two of them weren’t his fault, and I agree with that. But they show up on the stat sheet, regardless. 

Throwing 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions on the season is not worthy of a Heisman candidate. I believe Watson can win the Heisman, but he has to improve in order to get it. There’s a reason why it’s the most coveted prize in

college football. 

Negativity aside, I truly believe that the offense will get it together. They showed what they could do Saturday night. Take one of the wide receivers, for example. Deon Cain had four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. That’s absolutely nuts. 

Throw that in with the fact that Watson threw three more touchdowns to three more receivers, you can see the talent shine across the board. Here’s hoping that it shines for 10 more games.

Now it’s time to talk about the defense. There’s really only one number that summarizes their showing on Saturday night: 99. That’s how many times Louisville’s offense snapped the ball. Compared to the national average of offensive snaps per game, the defense stuck it out for almost six quarters of football.

By far, this game was won by the Clemson defense. Yes, it was the offense who put us back on top, but Louisville’s quarterback had never seen a defense like the one the Tigers brought on Saturday night.

Speaking of Louisville’s quarterback: before tonight’s game, Lamar Jackson averaged 10.1 yards per rushing attempt and had 12 rushing touchdowns. On Saturday night, he averaged 5.2 yards per rush and had two rushing touchdowns. For someone so electric in his first four games, he was tamed against the Tigers.

A lot of that defensive effort came from Clemson’s front seven. The

defensive line, along with the linebacker corps, was the best group of defenders that Lamar Jackson had seen thus far. He was sacked five times. 

On top of that, Jackson had to rush 31 times to get his 162 yards on the ground. 

To put it simply, the defense never gave up. A great team always needs a good offense, but as the saying goes, “Defenses win championships.”

The Tigers are 5-0 on the season. There’s still plenty of football to be played, but things look hopeful for another national championship run for the Clemson Tigers.

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