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Halftime musings: No. 10 Clemson vs. Louisville

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Clemson left tackle Jordan McFadden (71) pushes a Louisville defensive lineman YaYa Diaby (6) during the Tigers’ game vs. the Cardinals in Memorial Stadium on Nov. 12, 2022. 

At halftime, Clemson is leading Louisville 17-7 in Memorial Stadium. Here are our halftime thoughts on the Tigers’ performance in the first half. 

Offense/special teams

— Compared to last week vs. Notre Dame, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had much more success through the air in the first half against the Cardinals. The junior signal-caller completed 14 of 20 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Still, it wasn’t a perfect half for him, as a costly fumble at the 7:22 mark in the second quarter gave Louisville possession near midfield. 

— Often on the receiving end of Uiagalelei’s pass attempts in the first half was wide receiver Antonio Williams. So far, the true freshman has a team-high six receptions for 59 yards, four of which came on a touchdown late in the second quarter to give the Tigers a two-possession lead heading into the locker room.

— Clemson’s offensive line held its own at the line of scrimmage for most of the first half. Even with starting right guard Walker Parks out, the unit gave Uiagalelei enough time to deliver on most of his throws while also paving the way for the Tigers’ rushing attack, which gained 100 yards in the first half. 

— Running back Will Shipley ran for 45 yards on eight carries in the first half and drew a defensive pass interference call that set up Williams’ score. Shipley did have a fumble late in the second quarter, but luckily for the Tigers, wide receiver Joseph Ngata recovered the ball. 

— After only recording one reception in the previous three games, Clemson tight end Jake Briningstool made his mark in the first half on Saturday. The sophomore pass-catcher had two receptions for 32 yards, notably catching a 26-yard pass down the left sideline.


— The Clemson defense held the Cardinals to 59 rushing yards and 134 total offensive yards in the first half, and while the Tigers were missing some key starters, the Tigers seemed to come out with prime motivation to play after their defensive woes against the Fighting Irish last week. 

— A key factor to the Tigers’ talented defensive line, Bryan Bresee picked up his first sack of the day on a third-and-six midway through the first quarter. Sophomore corner Nate Wiggins also had an impressive performance in the first quarter with the lone pass breakup for the Tigers. 

— The Tigers finished the first quarter with 13 total tackles and held Louisville to just 35 rushing yards. However, the defense was a little less dominant in shutting down the Cardinals’ run offense in the second quarter. 

— Barrett Carter, K.J. Henry, and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. led the team in tackles throughout the first half and continually pressured the run game of the Cardinals. 

— With 6:33 left in the first half, we saw Henry come and make a statement pressuring Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham, forcing a third down on the drive following Louisville’s fumble recovery.

—The telling stat was the defense’s ability to limit Louisville to a single scoring drive in the first half, and the Tigers will have to look to continue that level of physicality into the second half.

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