- The fact that nine different Tigers scored touchdowns against Louisville shows how easy everything was for Clemson on Saturday.
The misery of Louisville’s 2018 season started way back on Jan. 5, when Heisman Trophy–winning quarterback Lamar Jackson made the expected announcement that he would skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
While Jackson did some electric things in his three seasons on campus, including becoming the only FBS player ever to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,500 yards in consecutive seasons, the football program failed to take advantage of that momentum and prepare for his eventual departure by stacking the roster with talent that could eventually compete with the rest of the ACC.
The season opened ominously with a blowout loss to defending national champion Alabama, and the buyout watch for Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino continued on Saturday against another national title contender, as Clemson showed no mercy in a 77–16 beatdown, extending the Cardinals’ losing streak to six games. With the way things are going and their upcoming schedule, the offseason can’t get here fast enough.
The Tigers toyed with Louisville all game, with nine different players reaching the end zone, including 6'4", 340-pound defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who rumbled his way to a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter...
... and head coach Dabo Swinney’s son Will, who got into the action with an eight-yard touchdown catch and run in the fourth that put the Tigers up by a comfortable 61 points.
Louisville entered the game ranked 113th in total offense and 117th in rushing offense and passing efficiency, then proceeded to fail to find the end zone on offense until it trailed 70–9. The Cardinals’ defense lived up to its No. 124 rank against the run by giving up 492 yards on an absurd 13.3 yards per carry. Travis Ettenne ran for 153 yards and a touchdown, Lyn-J Dixon added 116 yards and a score and Tavien Feaster got into triple digits with 101 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown early in the first quarter.
Tigers true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence continued his steady play, although he wasn’t asked to do much. He threw for 59 yards on 12 attempts with two touchdowns and an interception. In relief, Brice had three touchdowns and 110 yards passing. Keeping with the theme of getting everyone involved, each of Clemson’s five touchdown receptions went to different players.
Clemson, who was ranked No. 2 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, continued its march toward another College Football berth and will win the ACC Atlantic for the fourth straight season if they beat Boston College next week. Calling Louisville even a momentary speed bump would be too generous.