Louisville QB Lamar Jackson burst through the hole on a run play, and when he got up he was clearly fired up – yelling, screaming and pointing at the refs, and we weren’t exactly sure why. There was really no other way to explain how the Tigers’ defense managed to keep Jackson and the Cardinals out of the end zone after yet another rapid drive down the field.
This was the third consecutive barn-burner between the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) and Cardinals (4-1, 2-1), in just their third meeting ever after Louisville joined the ACC in 2014.
He threw five touchdown passes and three interceptions. Louisville put up 568 yards, more than Clemson’s allowed to anyone over the past two seasons.
“They are 3-2 and they’re coming off a big win”, Swinney said.
Not bad for the quarterback many considered the second best on the field entering Saturday’s game. “That’s what makes college football so much fun, I think”. Clemson is now in the driver’s seat in the ACC Atlantic Division, with the critical head-to-head tiebreaker over Louisville the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Tigers produced two touchdowns in response to Louisville’s three turnovers in the first half.
Clemson led 28-10 at halftime as the Tigers offense exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter after both teams struggled offensively for the first 15 minutes.
No. 4 Michigan 14, No. 8 Wisconsin 7: In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Wilton Speight threw a tiebreaking, 46-yard touchdown pass to Amara Darboh midway through the fourth quarter, and Jourdan Lewis had a spectacular, one-handed interception to seal the win for Michigan.
“At the end of the day, you either have the heart or you don’t, ” Swinney said.
The two Heisman candidates dueled back and forth, each leading their teams on phenomenal runs against excellent defenses. Unfortunately, it came down to a fourth down passing play. So relieved were they that they stormed even while aware their team is a kingpin and defending national runner-up, and their favorite quarterback, Deshaun Watson, clearly remains a masterful pilot. Artavis Scott’s 77-yard kickoff return set up Watson’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 7:06 left.
The Tigers regained the lead on their next possession, as Watson finished off an 85-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leggett, who also hauled in a Watson pass for the succeeding two-point conversion.
Watson was named ACC offensive back of the week for his five touchdowns, 306 yards passing and 91 yards rushing. Clemson RB Wayne Gallman added 101 yards on the ground on 16 carries, with a touchdown.
Who knows what Petrino said at halftime to his team, but it indubitably worked wonders.
“He did everything he possibly could to win that game (and) made some great plays for us. It’s a real tough loss”. Picking his way through it, Watson, who had befuddled a mighty Alabama defense in January in the national championship game, faced a third down at the 45-yard line but looked over the middle and found Deon Cain, to whom he had thrown two gorgeous touchdowns of 33 and 37 yards in the first half.
Quick had 83 yards on seven receptions and Cole Hikutini also had seven catches for 84 yards.
Louisville (4-1) has a bye next week before returning to Papa John Cardinal Stadium to face Duke on October 14.
Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s head coach, called Jackson “something special”.
The victory will likely land the Tigers and their star quarterback DeShaun Watson into the top four and on track to play again in the NCAA Football playoffs in January.
JuJu Smith-Schuster caught seven passes for 123 yards and a career-high tying three TDs for the Trojans (2-3, 1-2).