The Clemson Tigers (4-2) defeated the Louisville Cardinals (5-2) Saturday without a single offensive score. A goal line stand proved to be the difference as the Tigers claimed the 23-17 victory.
Bobby Petrino‘s Cardinals had a chance to steal the victory, but Dabo Swinney‘s defense remained stout. With less than a minute remaining in the contest, the Cardinals had the ball at Clemson’s 8-yard line. Louisville gained seven yards on first down. But Clemson was able to hold over the next three downs from the 1-yard line to ensure the win.
In total, Clemson’s defense surrendered 212 total yards. And 73 of those yards came on a pass from Louisville quarterback Will Gardner to wide receiver James Quick just prior to the goal line stand.
The defense was led by defensive end Vic Beasley, who set a new Clemson record with 29 career sacks to pass Gaines Adams and Michael Dean Perry.
Clemson’s scoring came courtesy of the defense and special teams. Senior wide receiver Adam Humphries struck first a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown. Senior defensive end Grady Jarrett scored the second touchdown by recovering a fumble in the end zone. And Clemson kicker Ammon Lakip was 3-of-3 in field goal conversions with a long of 45 yards.
Swinney and his staff will need for their defense to remain strong in the coming weeks.
Senior quarterback Cole Stoudt is set to take over starting duties once again after freshman Deshaun Watson broke a bone in his throwing hand during the first half. Stoudt was 20-of-33 passing for 162 yards and a touchdown during the relief appearance.
Watson’s season may not be over, though.
In ideal situation DeShaun Watson (hand) would miss only 3 games and return in 5 weeks vs GT
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) October 11, 2014
Clemson’s schedule presents three winnable games over the next three weeks with the Boston College Eagles, Syracuse Orange and Wake Forest Demon Deacons next in line. Clemson’s defense will give the Tigers an edge in each of those contests.