Louisville Cardinals

None shall pass: Clemson Tigers hold on for a 23-17 victory over Louisville Cardinals


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.

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.

Defense rules as Clemson Tigers lead Louisville Cardinals 14-10

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The defenses came to play in “Death Valley.”

The Louisville Cardinals and the Clemson Tigers combined for 165 total yards of offense through two quarters of play. Yet Clemson holds a 14-10 lead.

The difference in the score came from strong special teams play and a late turnover.

After the Tigers shut down the Cardinals during their initial drive, senior wide receiver Adam Humphies returned a punt 72 yards for the game’s opening score. With 7:16 remaining in the half, senior defensive end Tavaris Barnes recovered a fumble for a two-yard score.

Otherwise, the Cardinals have been swarming on defense. And it became even more difficult for the Tigers to move the ball once Cole Stoudt was forced to replace Deshaun Watson at quarterback.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed that Watson suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand during an interview with ESPN prior to entering the locker room at halftime.

Stoudt, a senior who opened the season as Clemson’s starter, was 6-of-11 passing once he was pressed into action. Louisville freshman Reggie Bonnafon didn’t fare any better. Bonnafon completed only four passes for 58 yards.

And neither team could establish the run against these stout defenses. The two teams combined to average 1.5 yards per carry.

Both teams will need to get creative in the second half to finally get the defenses on their heels. A traditional approach from both teams hasn’t proven to be successful. A trick play or two should enter the equation, while one of the quarterbacks needs to step up and make a play to give their squad an edge in the second half.

Louisville Cardinals name Teddy Bridgewater’s successor


In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino named redshirt sophomore Will Gardner the team’s starting quarterback.

After serving at Teddy Bridgewater’s backup a year ago, Gardner will now have the opportunity to be the ringleader in Petrino’s circus.

“I thought Will had an outstanding fall camp,” Petrino said in a statement. “He demonstrated good decision-making and executed our offense.”

Gardner played in five games last season during mop up duty for Bridgewater. Gardner was 8-of-12 passing for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his limited opportunities.

Despite being the team’s primary backup last season, Petrino wasn’t going to hand Gardner the starting job. A new offensive system was being put in place, and the new head coach wanted to give the other quarterbacks on the roster an opportunity to earn the position. Gardner rose to the occasion and the claimed the spot everyone thought was his from the onset of spring practice. Gardner looked spectacular in the team’s spring game and rode the momentum through fall camp.

“He’s a young man who is extremely coachable, very intelligent and really into it,” Petrino told USA TODAY in June. “When you talk about dedication and commitment, Will has done all of that.”

Louisville’s announcement came on the same day its opponent to open the season, the Miami Hurricanes, named their starting quarterback. True freshman Brad Kaaya is the Hurricanes’ new starting signal caller. The Cardinals will now have an advantage — albeit a slight one — in experience at quarterback when playing at home on Labor Day against their first official ACC opponent.

Report: ‘Significant friction’ between Bobby Petrino and Todd Grantham


Bobby Petrino hasn’t changed much since his last tour with the Louisville Cardinals.

Even after failing miserably at the NFL level and then publicly embarrassing himself, his family and the University of Arkansas, it doesn’t seem like Petrino has learned from his mistakes.

There is now in-fighting among Louisville’s coaching staff with Petrino at the middle of it all.

“Sources with ties to the Cardinals’ football program and Petrino said there’s significant friction between Petrino and feisty defensive coordinator Todd Grantham,” SI.com’s Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel reported. “The two have feuded often since Grantham’s hiring in January.

“So much that one source insists Petrino would have already gotten rid of Grantham if not for his guaranteed five-year contract that pays him nearly $1 million annually.”

Evans and Thamel also spoke with Jamaine Brooks, who decided to leave the program this past spring. Brooks doesn’t paint a pretty picture regarding Petrino’s treatment of his players.

“He’s a mean guy,” Brooks told SI.com. “He cusses you out. You’re never doing enough. He’s still Bobby Mother——- Petrino.”

“The way he came in doing business I didn’t like it. The way he treated people. He just wasn’t a good coach.”

Unfortunately, Petrino has proven to be a good game-day coach. It’s why a program like Louisville, which is transitioning to the ACC this season, decided to re-hire Petrino despite his checkered past. Petrino is 83-30 during his 10 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He helped place Louisville on the national scene when he led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory in 2006.

Petrino was also able to sell Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich on the notion he wouldn’t be the same coach he was when he was originally coached for the university from 2003 to ’06.

“I believe Bobby Petrino’s a changed man,” Jurich said upon Petrino’s hiring. “Bobby has convinced me he’s a changed man

“Bobby has convinced me he’s a changed man. I told Bobby the coach I had here is not the coach I want to hire. I want the new Bobby.”

Petrino and Grantham will simply have to find a way to work together. Not all head coaches and coordinators do — ask Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan — but they can still be successful. Even if they can’t, Grantham’s contract is prohibitive, and he’s not leaving Louisville any time soon.

“He’s stuck with him,” a source told SI.com.