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Clemson Football

Keys to Victory: No. 10 Clemson vs. Louisville

November 12, 2022


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Each week we review the game’s history, three keys to success, and Swanny’s prediction.

The Match-Up:

No. 10 Clemson (8-1, 6-0 ACC) vs. Louisville (6-3)

Clemson is 7-0 all-time against the Cardinals and will attempt to open a series against an opponent with eight consecutive victories for the second time in program history, joining Clemson's 29-game winning streak to open its all-time series with Virginia.

While the Tigers have a perfect all-time record against Louisville, the series has produced a number of dramatic moments. Since meeting for the first time in 2014, four of the teams' seven meetings have been decided by six or fewer points. That includes Clemson's 30-24 win at Louisville last year, in which the Tigers overcame a 10-point deficit for the win.

Clemson at Louisville (2021)

Series History:

  • OVERALL: Clemson leads series, 7-0
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 3-0
  • ROAD: Clemson leads series, 4-0
  • LAST MEETING: Nov. 6, 2021 (30-24, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 7


Stat of the Week:

Clemson enters the game averaging 40.6 points per game against Louisville in seven all-time meetings, the Tigers’ highest all-time scoring average against an opponent presently in a Power Five conference.

Chasing History:

Clemson attempting to play a 150th consecutive game since losing back-to-back games in a single season. Clemson's 149-game streak dating to 2011 is the nation's longest active streak.

Key 1: Invisible Men 

Clemson’s defensive front has been lackluster this season and last weekend’s contest against Notre Dame was cringe-worthy at times. Certainly, some of that has to fall on the coaching staff and their inability to adjust to Notre Dame’s constant double-teams, but even still, the Irish running backs looked like pinballs running all over the Tiger defense. 

Facing a versatile player like Malik Cunningham, the Clemson defenders have to play disciplined football throughout the game-- specifically, keeping containment on the edge and forcing Cunningham into traffic. If the defensive line doesn’t show up-- or fails to play like they were expected to this season-- another tough game could be looming this afternoon.

Key 2: Mr. Perfect

D.J. Uiagalelei is clearly feeling the heat after starting the year off well. Since the start of Clemson’s game with Syracuse, Uiagalelei is 40-60 for 329 yards, 1 TD, and three interceptions-- a significant shift from the first nine games of the season. 

According to Kyle Richardson, Uiagalelei needs to play faster and not worry about being perfect. There were several times in the Notre Dame game where it felt like Uiagalelei was hesitant or didn’t release the football to his wideouts downfield. Confidence is key, and it would be nice to see the Tigers signal caller showcase more belief in himself during today’s contest against Louisville.

If Uiagalelei struggles early, the Tigers should put Cade Klubnik in without his back against the wall. Even though the freshman has looked-- well, like a freshman-- it would be nice to see him get some opportunities this weekend if there isn’t marked improvement from Uiagalelei for a third consecutive game.

Key 3: Dictate Play

I don’t know how many of the issues Clemson’s had this year are about talent-- I tend to lean in on the Tigers being supremely talented by comparison to their opposition-- but I’d like to see this team dictate play on both sides of the ball. 

It’s felt like the new coordinators have been too satisfied yielding to what’s being done to them instead of being the aggressors against the opposition. Clemson’s got the better chess pieces, but the Tigers seem to play reactionary football. There’s always an acclimation period for coaches, especially coordinators, but we are in the final third of the season, and it’s time to see an aggressive game plan on both sides of the football. 


Clemson enters today’s game needing a jolt of energy after two poor showings in back-to-back games. The Tigers are fortunate to be 8-1 and still in the playoff conversation instead of 7-2 and wondering what happened to a promising start.

Today’s game with Louisville is key as the 6-3 Cardinals are likely Clemson’s toughest regular season test remaining. Win this one, and a berth in the ACC Championship and a shot at squeaking into the playoffs stay on the table. Lose it, and the question about where things went wrong for this group will grow by leaps and bounds about the issues Swinney’s team is facing.

The good news is that the Tigers still have the best chess pieces on the table, so I’ll take my chances that they have what it takes-- but I’m not overly confident. They’ve got to prove it to me on the field-- not behind a microphone on Monday.

Clemson 31, Louisville 17

Swanny’s Predictions: 

Date 2022 Schedule Predictions Swanny’s Prediction Actual Score ✅ or 

9-5-2022 No. 4 Clemson @ Georgia Tech 31-14 Clemson  41-10 Clemson
9-10-2022 No. 4 Clemson vs. Furman 55-7 Clemson 35-12 Clemson
9-17-2022 No. 4 Clemson vs. La. Tech 38-13 Clemson  48-20 Clemson
9-24-2022 No. 5 Clemson @ No. 21 Wake Fores 38-17 Clemson

51-45 Clemson (2OT)

10-1-2022 No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 10 NC State 34-20 Clemson 30-20 Clemson
10-8-2022 No. 5 Clemson at Boston College 42-17 Clemson 31-3 Clemson
10-15-2022 No. 4 Clemson at Florida State 34-14 Clemson 34-28 Clemson
10-22-2022 No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 14 Syracuse 43-13 Clemson 27-21 Clemson
11-5-2022 No. 4 Clemson at Notre Dame 31-14 Clemson 35-14 Notre Dame
11-12-2022 No. 10 Clemson vs. Louisville 31-17 Clemson

✅ = Correct Prediction

Discussion from...

Keys to Victory: No. 10 Clemson vs. Louisville

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