#3 Clemson VS Louisville: Preview & Prediction

The third ranked Tigers roll into the Bluegrass State on a mission to reach season goal number two and that is to win the division. This week’s Atlantic divisional matchup features the Cardinals of Louisville and their first year coach Scott Satterfield. Satterfield who comes to the Cardinals from Appalachian State where he won a couple Sun Belt Conference titles with the Mountaineers. So far in 2019 this version of the Louisville football team is rapidly making marked improvement from week to week.

Just last week , the Cards took on an previously undefeated Wake Forest at their place and outlasted the Deacons in what turned out to be a Basketball game 62-59. But this Saturday the talent level upgrades considerably in the form of the undefeated Tigers. Don’t look for this one to turn into the track meet that last week’s Cardinal win was. Clemson will come in with a suffocating defensive scheme and an offense looking to put this one away in a hurry. Clemson now into part two of this 2019 campaign .. concentrates on the schedule lying ahead, as where in the first few weeks the Tigers looked to build viable depth by playing mixed units earlier in games…. substituting starters in lieu of valuable game experience for these back ups. You won’t see the Tigers reach as far into the bench unless this one gets seriously out of hand.

When Louisville Has the Ball:

Well the first question you have to ask is who is the quarterback for the Cards? At this point in the year the Cards have played three players and look to rotate in this game. One of the three is out for the season as the Cards Starter from the outset of the year Puma Pass is out after surgery. The Cards in 2019 have managed to score (224.Points/G: 37.3 (24th of 130) pretty regularly. The one game that really sticks out is last weeks shootout in Winston-Salem with the Deacons. As the Cards came back from 21 down at one point and won 62-59. Don’t look for this Clemson defense to give up anywhere near these kinds of point. Averaging around 12 points a game given, this retooled version of Brent Venables D is actually stingier than last years National Title winners. Venables will dial in this one fast as the Cards have a couple weapons to watch out for. The Louisville run game has been efficient and their lead back Javian Hawkins averages 104 yards per game. Look for the Tigers to funnel the run inside and try and secure and hold the edges of this defense to force them out of their bread and butter zone read look. Clemson wants this team to try and win through the air. Where Clemson has the advantage with a back seven that is experienced and savvy and will force either Cards QB on this afternoon into multiple mistakes. The Cards offense will find a few plays of success and find the end zone on this afternoon. But Venables is a master at adjustments and once that first scripted series of Cards plays is on the field to diagnose. Look for the Tiger D to dial and shut the Cards down.

When Clemson Has the Ball.

Louisville’s defense comes into this matchup against Trevor Lawrence and his uber talented team mates giving up a ton of points per game. (Opp Pts/G: 31.5 (98th of 130). Look for the Tigers to go for the win early in this one. Looking to strike fast and take the crowd out of the game and put the pressure on. Look for the Tigers to stretch the field with a few down field throws that will cause the Cards to adjust in the secondary thus opening things up for Etienne, Dixon and crew. This balance and the Tigers ability to move the ball horizontally to targets like Amari Rodgers will do the work and wear down this thin group on the lines and in the secondary . By the time middle of the 3rd quarter rolls around the Tigers offense will be in cruise control having accomplished the business of gathering a 2-3 touchdown lead at this point. Look for the Clemson 2nd and 3rd team to see action by early in the 4th . TL16 and ET9 rack up the numbers in this one with ET9 getting over the century mark, and TL16 throwing for over 250 yards and 3 TD’s . Clemson continues the momentum offensively it left on the field as they ran over FSU last week and scores with a frequency that allows them to call off the dogs late play the 2nd team, as Chase Brice and crew should finish this one out.

Special Teams:

Clemson has mad a major change at FG’s as the inconsistency shown by Sophomore BT Potter has the Tigers now splitting the duties with Stephen Sawicki. With Potter handling “Long” and his team mate doing the “short stuff” . Potter remains the kickoff specialist and Will Spiers is now averaging for the season 42.2 yards.Louisville comes in with two solid special teams players in Place Kicker Blanton Creque 7-9 long of 43 and Punters Mason King 26 times for 41.3 average.

Prediction: Clemson 48 Louisville 17

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