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Clemson Football

Instant Analysis: Lawrence, Tigers overcome slow start at Louisville

October 19, 2019

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The Tigers and Trevor Lawrence may not have started all that well out of the gates against Louisville, but like any great racehorse, Clemson's offense just kept churning, behind 192 yards and a touchdown from Travis Etienne, while overpowering Louisville 45-10.

Lawrence threw two early interceptions in the endzone that left many pundits scratching their heads at the one time Heisman Trophy candidate. Lawrence bounced back with a perfect second quarter going, 9-9 for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the frame.

The sophomore quarterback finished the day 20-29 for 233 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The game was over when…

The Tigers led 17-3 late in the third quarter when Travis Etienne delivered a massive blow from 49 yards out. The junior running back hit the hole, bounced to the outside and sprinted towards the end zone while being escorted by Tee Higgins to the goal line.

Etienne also had a 48-yard run on his first carry and his final run went for 18 yards before he limped to the sideline with an apparent injury. He finished with 192 rushing yards on 14 carries and 35 receiving yards on four receptions. 

After the game, Swinney said that Etienne could have gone back in the game and that “everybody” on the team is “alright.” 

Clemson Sports Talk
Nyles Pinckney celebrates his fumble recovery during Clemson’s 45-10 win at Louisville.

They stole the show…

Goodness, can Clemson’s defense be any more stout? The Tigers essentially put the clamps on a Louisville offense that blistered Wake Forest last weekend for 62 points. This weekend, the Cards had to score a late touchdown, much like Texas A&M did, to put seven points on the board. 

The Tigers, like defensive coordinator Brent Venables, were relentless the entire game. Isaiah Simmons continued his stellar play with eight tackles and two sacks. Clemson’s nickel-hybrid freakshow was everywhere during the contest.

Clemson racked up six sacks and 11 tackles for loss during an impressive performance. 

There might be criticism of the Tiger offense after another sluggish start, but you cannot deny what the Tigers have been able to do on defense in 2019. The Tigers held Louisville to just 263 yards on 14 possessions. During the most critical stretch of the game, Venables’ crew held the Cardinals to drives of 1 yard, -4 yards, 1 yard, and 0 yards. That’s -2 total yards while Clemson’s offense began to put points on the board during the second half of the game.

Matchup of the game…

Clemson’s offense rushed for 298 yards in the game, blistering the Cardinal's from the first snap on the ground. It’s become clear that Trevor Lawrence is going to be a more significant part of the running game this season, putting up 47 yards on ten carries.

Combined with Etienne, the duo has become tough to stop during zone-read looks. However, there may have been a few plays where the decision to keep or pass meant an opportunity for a larger gain may have been missed. 

Freshmen Chez Mellusi and Mikey Dukes also looked good in limited action, and a tip of the cap is due watching Darien Rencher get into the endzone as well.

The Tigers take on Boston College next Saturday in Death Valley at 7:30 PM.


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Instant Analysis: Lawrence, Tigers overcome slow start at Louisville

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