If for some reason you didn’t watch that game, boy did you miss a classic. A game that in my opinion, rivals the Notre Dame game of last year, was one the Tiger faithful won’t forget anytime soon. For those of you who couldn’t make the trip to Death Valley, let me say the television didn’t do the crowd noise justice at all. When I tell you I couldn’t hear myself think, it isn’t an exaggeration, all I could think was “Keep Screaming!”
Nevertheless, the score during the first quarter was 0-0 and seemed to be a defensive battle mixed with a game of turnovers. Then the second quarter kicked up, and boy did Clemson wake up quickly. The Tigers scored four touchdowns answering the Cardinal’s 10 points to give Clemson a comfortable lead at the half. So let’s take a look at the wild second quarter that helped propel the Tigers forward for a season defining win:
Louisville ball, 15:00, Clemson 1
1st & Goal, 131 Ace vs 5-4, loaded box (8), Jackson rolls out right, looks for end zone pass to RB, pass incomplete…230 Power I vs 5-4, loaded box (8), LG pulls outside left, handoff left side through 5 hole, tackle made, no gain…230 Power I vs 5-4, loaded box (8), LG pulls left, handoff left side through 5 hole…Touchdown
On the 3rd down scoring play, not only did Louisville line up in the same formation, they ran the exact same play twice in a row. The red zone defense from Clemson is really what kept the Tigers in this game, it just gave up a hole on this particular drive.
Score: Louisville-7, Clemson-0
1st & 10, 113 Pistol vs 3-2 Dime, handoff to Gallman right side through 4 hole, gain of 4…005 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson keeps the ball on the QB draw, gain of 1…104 Pistol vs 4-3, spur DE on the left side, 6 men in the box, Leggett motions left to right, FALSE START...104 Pistol vs 4-3, pass over the middle complete to Jordan Leggett for a 19-yard gain…
1st & 10, 104 Pistol vs 4-3, 3-step drop, bubble screen pass complete to Mike Williams, gain of 12 yards…after the play personal foul-late hit against Lousiville…
1st & 10, 104 Pistol vs 3-2 Nickel, spur on the right side of the line, Watson pass to his second read, loss of 3 on the play…203 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, misdirection handoff to Gallman to the right side, gain of 14 on the play…
1st & 10, 203 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, play action pass over the middle, picked off by the nickel back…TURNOVER
Louisville ball, 11:12, Louisville 20
1st & 10, 302 Ace Tail vs 4-3, play action, Jackson hurried, sacked for loss of 7 yards…113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, pocket collapses, forces roll out left, pass thrown away…113 Shotgun vs 3-3 Nickel, Jackson runs for a gain of 4, flag on the play, defensive holding against Clemson…113 Shotgun vs 3-3 Nickel, Jackson keeps the ball on read option run, gain of 8 yards…
1st & 10, 113 Shotgun vs 4-3, Jackson pass to the flats, gain of 5…113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, Jackson keeps the ball on the read option, gain of 3…122 Ace vs 4-3, Jackson pass complete on roll out pass, gain of 7…
1st & 10, 122 Pistol vs 4-3, bad snap goes over Jackson’s head, fumble recovered by Ben Boulware…TURNOVER
Clemson ball, 8:08, Louisville 45
1st & 10, 104 Pistol vs 3-3 Nickel, Watson bubble screen pass complete to Scott, gain of 13…
1st & 10, 104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson pass complete to Cain for 33 yards…TOUCHDOWN
Score: Louisville-7, Clemson-7
Louisville ball, 7:48, Louisville 25
1st & 10, 212 Shotgun vs 4-3, Jackson keeps it on the option run play, gain of 1…212 Shotgun vs 4-3, Clemson defense showing blitz, handoff, RB met in backfield by 3 defenders, loss of 6 on the play…113 Pistol vs 3-3 Nickel, Jackson pass picked off…TURNOVER
Clemson ball, 6:37, Clemson 42
1st & 10, 203 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson keeps the ball on the read option, fumble, recovered by Louisville…TURNOVER
Louisville ball, 6:27, Louisville 39
113 Pistol vs 4-3, spur on the right side, safety blitz, handoff, met at the line of scrimmage, fumble, ball recovered by Carlos Watkins…TURNOVER
Clemson ball, 6:20, Louisville 39
First play from scrimmage, Watson looks deep for Scott who is pushed; resulting in pass interference against Louisville
1st & 10, 104 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, spur lined up on the left side, Watson hand off to Gallman, untouched for the touchdown…TOUCHDOWN
Score… Louisville-7, Clemson 14
Louisville ball, 6:09, Louisville 25
Drive starts on the 25 yard line, first play there is a false start on Louisville.
1st & 15, 113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, read option handoff through the A-gap, gain of 10 yards…104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, RB handoff, gain of 3…130 Pistol vs 5-3 stacked box, play action pass incomplete, broken up by Tankerlsey…
After the 3rd down play, a Louisville receiver took his helmet off out of frustration while on the field; resulting in a 15 yard penalty…
Clemson ball, 4:44, Clemson 44
1st & 10, 113 Pistol vs 4-3, Spur on the left side, Gallman run up the middle, gain of 7…113 vs 4-3, Spur on the left, McCloud motions right to left, pitch to McCloud, gain of 17…
1st & 10, 113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, Spur on the right, Watson pass deep to Cain complete for 37-yard score…TOUCHDOWN
Score… Louisville-7, Clemson- 21
Here’s O’Daniel hitting the Louisville KR harder than a Monday morning...
Louisville ball, 3:32, Louisville 14
Lousiville marched down the field on their next drive. It honestly should’ve probably resulted in a touchdown but they killed themelves with countless penalties and missed opportunities. As they got near the Red Zone, Jackson kept the ball on a run play and was tackled. During the play Ben Boulware wrapped Jackson up and had him around the neck/helmet area; Kirk Herbstreit called it a dirty play and said that Ben was a dirty player, I’m not sure that was quite the case here...
Lousiville would end up making a field goal leaving 37 seconds left on the clock.
Score: Louisville-10, Clemson-21
Clemson got the ball back with 37 seconds on the clock. While most of the time you would see a kneel and head into the locker room, we saw Dabo make a call that is the difference in winning big games like this. They decided to try anyways, marching down the field leading to a 13 yard touchdown pass to Scott...
Halftime score: Louisville-10, Clemson-28