A game the Observer will tuck away among the memories for numerous reasons despite the University of Louisville football team on the wrong end of a 45-10 loss to third-ranked Clemson. A beautiful day of football and 51,015 fans at Cardinal Stadium.
The best part personally was having son Steve on hand for his first Louisville football game in several years. Getting up in the wee hours for the four-hour trip from Murray, coincidentally greeted by the UofL marching band as the car pulls into the tailgating area. He’s an even bigger Cardinal fan than the Observer, believe it or not.
A close second was the effectiveness of the UofL defense during the early stages of the game, limiting the defending national champions to a three-point lead in the first quarter and a 14-point deficit in the first half. This was essentially the same defense that gave up 77 points to Clemson in a 61-point loss last season.
Except that this isn’t the same defense, not even in the same neighborhood as last year’s. Blessed with a new set of coaches who have inspired a sense of competitive spirit into a team that was playing in a coaching-deprived void in 2018. Making Clemson fight for every yard on Saturday, long after it was obvious that UofL is lacking any depth on the defensive side.
Clemson on the other hand has more than enough, reducing Louisville’s explosive offense to a mere whisper of itself. The Cardinals managing only 263 offensive yards, including only 107 yards passing. Not that UofL is that bad, Clemson is that good on defense.
The Tigers’ defense making life miserable for the UofL quarterbacks a week after they rang up 62 points against Wake Forest. If they can stay healthy, Malik Micale Cunningham and Evan Conley are going to continue their high scoring ways against the rest of the conference.
Clemson is still clearly out of UofL league’s for the moment. But not for long as Scott Satterfield and company are on the case.