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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 NCAA Football Clemson at Louisville: Preview and Prediction

2017 NCAA Football Clemson at Louisville: Preview and Prediction

Clemson-Louisville Preview
Publish Date: 09/15/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The biggest game this weekend in college football is Clemson at Louisville, the showdown in the Bluegrass state between the defending national champions and the team led by 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Compelling arguments for either side to win the game may be made…

Why Louisville can win

Two words: Lamar Jackson.

Jackson is averaging over 500 all-purpose yards per game so far this year. While the Cardinals’ competition hasn’t been great, Jackson proved last year that he is capable of huge performances against bigtime opponents. If you’re wondering whether Jackson has enough weapons on offense, look no further than running back Malik Williams, who added 145 yards on the ground, and wide receiver Jaylen Smith, who had 183 receiving yards in the Cardinals’ win at North Carolina.

The question mark with the Cardinals comes on the defensive side of the ball, and giving up 35 points to North Carolina answered none of those questions.

Why Clemson can win

Coaching and defense. The Tigers are led by Dabo Swinney, who must be mentioned anytime the best coaches in college football are brought up. The defense has given up only 6 points in two games and held Auburn to just 117 yards and the Tigers added 11 sacks for good measure. Anyone who thought the Tigers would be looking at a down season after losing a lot of players last year clearly underestimates the coaching abilities of Swinney.

Kelly Bryant is a solid replacement for the departed Deshaun Watson and last week played well against a very good Auburn defense, completing19 of 29 passes for 181 yards and leading the team in rushing with 59 yards on 19 carries.

Prediction

This game truly will be a tossup, as you might have the best offense in the nation against the best defense. I am going to side with Dabo and the Clemson defense. but it would not surprise me if Louisville pulls this one out. What I can be sure about is that the winner of this high-stakes game will have the inside track to a college football playoff berth … Clemson 27, Louisville 24.

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