It wasn’t always pretty, but Clemson’s response after the loss last week in South Bend was probably as good as anyone could ask for. The Tigers opened the game strong with a 75 yard drive that ended with DJ Uiagelelei running in a goal line touchdown. Clemson had another great drive later in the quarter, but unfortunately couldn’t punch it in from the 2, and settled for a BT Potter field goal. Malik Cunningham and Tyon Evans had a lot of success on one touchdown drive that began in the first and finished in the second with Evans slicing through Clemson’s defense for a 16 yard touchdown. As frustratingly similar as the play looked to last week’s Notre Dame domination, the Tigers were able to clamp down on defense for the rest of the half. Antonio Williams continued to shine and added a touchdown before the half to make it 17-7. Louisville attempted a frantic drive before halftime and got into Tiger territory. Instead of attempting a very long field goal, Louisville dialed up one more play. Malik Cunningham took a shotgun snap and quickly tucked and ran the ball. With Clemson in prevent, Cunningham picked up some nice yards but stumbled and was hit by Nate Wiggins as the clock went to zero. Cunningham was already banged up and wearing a pad and glove on his left hand laid injured on the turf and looked in pain. He came out of the locker room in street clothes for the second half and didn’t return.
With Cunningham out, Louisville’s offense was pretty quiet for the most part in the second. A great goal line stand from Clemson forced the Cards to only score a field goal on a drive that looked to get the Cards back in the game. Offensively, Clemson opened things up with an impressive run from Will Shipley that saw him hurdle the poor Louisville defender. Clemson’s other second half touchdown game from Phil Mafah on a 39 yard rushing touchdown in the fourth. Earlier in that drive Mafah looked impressive as he continued to chop his feet and move a huge pile about ten yards down the field. Clemson’s running game totaled 248 yards on the ground with 106 coming from Mafah and 97 coming from Shipley. Shipley did have 2 fumbles. DJ had a fumble as well and Louisville had two turnovers.
Again, not a perfect outing by any means but definitely much better than what we saw last week. Wade Woodaz did an outstanding job stepping in as Clemson had to shift things around to fill in for an injured Trenton Simpson. Now we await the game time for Miami.