Clemson's defense stifles Lamar Jackson in dominant win

Posted September 17, 2017

The Louisville quarterback has piled up 1,010 total yards, including 525 yards and six touchdowns in a win at North Carolina last week. Lamar Jackson is back under center for the Cardinals this season, and they're off to a solid start as a result.

Clemson Tigers - Clemson won its battle of the Tigers against Auburn, 14-6. The good news is that sometimes it's the weekends you don't expect much from that deliver the most, and we should all hope that's the case this week.

"This just shows we were the most prepared team", said Austin Bryant, who had four sacks and was one of 10 Tigers to compile a combined 14 tackles for loss.

I've been to all three games between these two.

But last week's win against Auburn, led by the Clemson defense's 11 sacks, has raised questions about an offense that features seven first-year starters, including Bryant.

"Hopefully, we can do a little better job of taking care of the ball and maximizing our opportunities when they present themselves", Swinney said. "It's another big game".

No. 3 Clemson (2-0, 0-0) at No. 14 Louisville (2-0, 1-0), 8 p.m. (ABC): For only the fourth time in history, a defending national champion (Clemson) faces a defending Heisman Trophy victor (Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson).

The Tigers are now a 3.5-point favorite, according to Vegas. Early in the season, though, minimizing weaknesses is a more urgent task for coaches, so that's why Clemson's offense versus Louisville's defense carries more weight. "We'll have to be able to mix the run and the pass and be balanced, not just count on one phase: running or passing". Plus, for a school that's known for its basketball, ESPN has chosen to come to town twice for the football team, and has yet to bring the basketball version of Gameday to town since the Cards moved into the KFC Yum! "You've really got to gang tackle a guy like that". We played against two of their three linebackers a year ago that are really fast and slippery.

That preparation is a testament to Venables, who keeps plugging in fresh high-end talent and churning out National Football League players by the time he's done with them.

But Jackson is a different breed. He passed for 393 yards with three passing touchdowns and ran for 132 and had three more scores. Many of the Tigers key players were lost to the National Football League, including starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, and starting wide receivers Artavis Scott and Mike Williams. The defensive line is as talented as any in the nation, and while inspirational linebacker Ben Boulware is gone, Kendall Joseph has stepped in well to fill the void in what is still an athletic linebacking corps. I think it makes an enormous difference here.

The rule says, "forcible contact against an opponent with the helmet crown" is targeting, as long as there's an indicator like a "launch" into the player. "You watch him the other day and you're like, 'Wow, this guy is pretty good.' He's throwing it all over the place and he's running for touchdowns".

Louisville, of course, has one of the more exciting players in all of college football in quarterback Lamar Jackson.