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Clemson Survives Against Louisville, Deshaun Watson Injured

The defense does not allow Clemson to lose.
The defense does not allow Clemson to lose.
Tyler Smith

I don't even know where to go with this game. Apologies for the delayed post-game article but I had no clue what kind of outcome we were going to have. I'm just a ball of emotions right now.

One thing I know is that the crowd sure did show up. The Petrino comment was definitely blown up out of context, but I certainly had no problems piling on Petrino. We needed every bit of that home field advantage as Louisville fell prey to numerous false start penalties (5 by my count by the end) and more importantly the blown timeout at the beginning of the second half.

Obviously Deshaun Watson getting hurt changed the complexion of the game. I think that Clemson cruises to victory with Watson in the game (we can surely debate this in the comments). Sure he threw an early pick but he was going to settle in and almost had a TD that was just flat out dropped by Hopper. Both Hopper and Williams had awful drops--and you need every good throw Cole Stoudt can give you.

Deshaun is out 3-4 weeks but it is a broken finger, his index finger I believe, so that could easily become 6 weeks.

I never liked Lou Holtz much anyway but after Rece Davis announced that Watson was injured Holtz audibly said sarcastically "oh what a shame." Coots have no class.

The Good

Offensive line took control of the game down the stretch. Adam Choice had some nice runs against a tiring defense and he knows how to hold on to the ball. The offensive line played like hot garbage most of the game. Norton continues to struggle. High snaps and as MT rightly labeled he is more a turnstile than a lineman. Webster struggled at times as well. Why is Beasley still so out of shape? He could be a solid contributor for us. Leggett made some nice catches but still doesn't like to block at all. But wait, the point is when the chips were down the line came through and helped us win the game. They gutted it out and deserve some credit. Chad Morris also deserved some credit because he stuck with the run down the stretch and smartly went to the quick pass, perimeter run game--something Stoudt does well.

Lakip came through. If he doesn't make that 40 yard field goal off the goal post and in then we go to overtime in this game. Difference between FSU games and this one is that Lakip makes his FG's. He has bounced back nicely.

Adam Humphries actually had positive yardage on a punt return? He scored on a kick? First time since 2009? What a weird game.

Oh and the defense. 4th down defense.

Grady Jarrett. Anytime there is a run up the gut of the defense Jarrett isn't in the game. We will miss him the most next year.

Kearse didn't give up on the defensive play--saved the game.

The Bad

I'm going to go with the 4th down play call. It just makes no sense on 4th down to run a jet sweep fake and then power because the LB's do not in any way honor it. With Stoudt back there being slow as molasses, the play develops too slowly and second level defenders easily stop the play. 4th and an inch? You must go under center or use a shotgun play that will develop quickly.

Interceptions and Cole Stoudt. Cole got away with about 4 balls that could have been picked off and he was driving Morris crazy with some of his poor placement of balls and accuracy issues. The interception he threw was into triple coverage when he had a man open in the flats.

As most of you know, I am not a huge Stoudt fan. He was not a disaster and got better as the game went on but early it was really ugly. Missed throws, underthrown balls and like the announcer said Cole stares down his primary receivers.

Not sure I agree with that 4th down call. Put the defense in a bad position. I question the play call more than anything.

The Ugly

Tajh Boyd made plenty of boneheaded plays but Stoudt's decision not to throw the ball away and run it at the end of the second half is right up there. Can't take a sack and can't run the ball in that situation. Just not very smart from a senior QB. If we score a TD there the second half of the game may go much differently.

Robert Smith--you just can't fall down like that. My oh my.

I cried inside when Watson went out injured.

A win is a win and we have a week to regroup. Louisville played great defense and deserve credit but it was a lot of bad from the Clemson offense as well. Credit to Dabo for keeping things together when momentum swung towards Louisville.

Let us Rejoice! (but then cry inside some more) Get better Deshaun! Get better quickly--like magic quick Clemson healing...