The Cards defeated Clemson on Wednesday night by a final score of 58-52. For most of the game, it wasn’t pretty. But pretty or not, Louisville now finds themselves 14-1 and 2-0 in the ACC. Here are my 5 quick thoughts from this game…
1. Montrezl foul trouble hurts
With 14:36 left to play in the first half, Montrezl Harrell picked up his 2nd foul and went to the bench for the rest of the half. With 1 foul already, Harrell made the unwise decision of trying to take a charge. Even if it was a charge, you are putting a 50/50 call in the hands of the referee. Picking up that charge is probably not worth the other side of the coin, which is you sitting for the next 14:36. For what it’s worth, it was the correct call as a block and it wasn’t really close. You just can’t put yourself in that position if you are Montrezl.
It will take winning and some outside help, but the Louisville Cardinals still have a chance to play in the Orange Bowl this season, which is the BCS Bowl that the ACC is tied to. The only poll that matters now is the College Football Playoff Ranking, so that is the one I will refer to. Louisville enters this week ranked 24th.
Now let’s be clear. When talking about the teams that have a shot at the Orange Bowl from the ACC, they would need Florida State to make it into the Playoff, which would open up the Orange Bowl spot for the next best ACC team. Remember, “next best ACC team” just means the highest ranked ACC team. Head to head means nothing, perception of teams means nothing. It is all about who is ranked highest.
Week 8 for the ACC got started on Thursday night as Pittsburgh beat Virginia Tech 21-16 in a Coastal matchup. Obviously, the biggest game involving an ACC team is not a conference game, and that is Florida State vs Notre Dame. Other than that, there are still some good games that should put some separation between teams in the conference. Here is the schedule, followed by the standings.
Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-1) def Virginia Tech (4-3, 1-2) 21-16.
Bobby Petrino and Will Gardner met with the media on Monday afternoon to recap the loss at Clemson and preview the upcoming game against NC State. The videos are from thecrunchzone.com.
Now that a few hours have passed since the game ended, I feel like sitting down to write about it. I have gotten much better over the years as to how I take losses. I do realize that I have no impact on the game whatsoever, and it is just that, a game. It is entertainment and a distraction from everyday life and real problems. So realizing that helps move on from losses. However, getting back to being the huge fan that I am, this one hurt!
In every game, there are good things and bad things that happen. This game seemed to be full of both. I would normally get on here and write about how things are just fine and this team will be ok, and no worries. That is just how I am now, Mr. Optimistic. The proof of that is that a few minutes after the game ended, a text came in that started with “I know you are the positive fan but…”
But I won’t be 100% positive talk here. I will address the problems that stuck out to me, no need to hide from them. So I will look at things from both sides. And since I am the positive one, I would prefer to end my post on the good things, so let’s go ahead and get the bad stuff out of the way. Before my negativity starts, just know that I still 100% support this team, including coaches and players. I love my Cards and one halfway critical post does not change that.
Here is the schedule of games today in the ACC. Obviously, Louisville at Clemson is the game of the week, but there are some other good games as well.
Syracuse (2-3, 0-1) vs (1) Florida State (5-0, 3-0) 12:00 ESPN
Miami (3-3, 1-2) vs Cincinnati (2-2, 0-1) 12:00 GamePlan/ESPN3
The following was posted back in August by Spencer York of shakininthesouthland.com, Clemson’s SB Nation site. He gives a great rundown of things to do and places to go if you are visiting Clemson for the first time. I figure fans are probably on their way down now or later this afternoon, so this could come in handy. Here is your guide to Clemson!
So you’re coming to Clemson for the first time? Well hopefully this small guide here will be able to help you out on your stay, whether you’re an opposing fan, or a neutral just checking out a game. Inside are places to eat, bars to drink at, places to stay, tailgating and parking info, etc.
So lets say you’re coming into town for a game and you need a place to stay. You have multiple options in Clemson, Seneca, Anderson, Easley, and Greenville.
Places to Stay
The best bet is to stay with someone that you know, but, if not, then these suggestions should help out.
Unless you are subscribed to our e-mail list, which sends you an e-mail every time a new post is made on CardinalSportsZone.com, there may be some things you miss during the week. By the way, getting on that e-mail list is a GREAT idea, not to mention easy. On that column there on the right (on the full site), there is a section called “Follow CSZ via email.” Just click “follow” and get signed up. It is a great way to keep up if you can’t always check out the site to see if there are new articles.
Now back to this. If you missed things during the week, or even if you didn’t but want a page with all of the links about Louisville-Clemson from the week that we posted, here it is for you. This way you don’t have to go search if you want to see things like the depth chart or Bobby Petrino’s press conference previewing Clemson. It is all listed below. If anything else gets posted today about the game, I will add it on here too. Hope this makes things easier for you. Go Cards!
If you were able to catch the podcast that I was on the other night, you also got to hear a lot of ACC knowledge from Mr. Jeff Fann. Jeff runs the site AllSportsDiscussion.com, which focuses on the ACC but just as the name says, will also talk about anything in sports.
Besides knowing about all of the teams in the ACC, there was another reason I wanted to do a quick Q&A with Jeff about the game on Saturday. That reason? He is a Clemson graduate. So if there is any team he can talk about more and have a real passion for them, it has to be the Tigers. So here we go!
1) What is the biggest advantage that each team has over the other in this game?
The following write up comes from Chris Hall, who is a big-time fan of the Clemson Tigers. In fact, his twitter profile says “my blood runs Clemson Orange.” So you have to appreciate that passion. Chris also has his own blog, sportstalkwithchrishall.blogspot.com, and he was nice enough to send us a personal game preview for this Saturday’s matchup between Louisville and Clemson.
Chris tells you all about Clemson’s team, which is great if you want to learn about the opposition before Saturday. For anyone traveling to the game, he also provides some tips on parking, eating, tailgating, and more.
Give him a follow on twitter @CHallSportsTalk and check out his preview!
What a difference two weeks makes. After letting one slip away in Tallahassee in overtime and dropping to 1-2 on the season, Tiger fans were understandably upset. Some of these “fans” were even calling for Swinney and Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris to be fired. Enter true freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson. The 6-2 205 dual-threat gunslinger from Gainesville, GA has lived up to the hype and truly is a special player. In his first start against North Carolina, he threw for a school record and tied an ACC record with 6 touchdowns in a 50-35 victory. He makes it look easy and has the poise of a 5th year senior in the pocket. Watson has provided a spark to not only this Clemson offense but the entire team and fan base. The Tigers have posted back to back wins and are averaging 45.5 points per game with the freshmen running the show. Optimism in flying high again around Tigertown and everyone is excited to watch this special player develop and continue what looks to be a very promising career. More importantly, Morris and Swinney’s job security, according to fans, is safe again.
Louisville’s offensive and defensive coordinators, Garrick McGee an Todd Grantham (respectively), met with the media over the last couple of days to discuss the upcoming game against Clemson. They also talked about their own team a little bit. The links to the videos are provided, as well as summaries of key notes they talked about.
-Practice was good. The kids were spirited. Not everything was perfect but it’s like that on Tuesdays because you are installing a new game plan, playing against a new defensive structure, but the spirit was there.
-Clemson has a really good defensive scheme. They have powerful guys in the middle. They have one of the top pash rushers in the country (Vic Beasley). They have three really good linebackers. They have length at safety. “I think #20 is 6’4.” So they present plenty of challenges for us.
Here are the transcripts from Wednesday’s ACC teleconference for Bobby Petrino and Dabo Swinney.
Bobby Petrino – Louisville
BOBBY PETRINO: We’re coming off a good road win at Syracuse where we had to fight hard to win the game in the fourth quarter, which I thought was really good for our football team. Defensively we’re playing at a very high level. Offensively we continue to get better, so I’m excited about the improvements we made. We know we have a great challenge ahead of us going in to play at Clemson, which is a very loud atmosphere and a great crowd. But we look forward to the challenge.
Q. Is DeVante fully cleared for this Saturday or are you waiting on a few for things?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, we’re kind of waiting on that. He came out for practice yesterday. He didn’t go the entire practice but did run routes and took part in parts of our practice. He looked good out there, but we just have to see how the week progresses.
Q. When you look on film, what is it about Clemson’s receivers you think that allows them to shine so fast so soon, a lot of young guys there?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I think they do a great job on their teaching of their get-off and their route running. They’re big guys that can get down the field and catch the ball well in their hands, so it’s a great challenge for us.
One thing I do like about Clemson so far is how much media coverage they give heading into a game. You have video of Dabo Swinney and his two coordinators talking, and now 11 players previewing Louisville. Pretty nice stuff to have when you are learning about your opponent. This sounds weird, but check out the eyes on Kalon Davis!
QB Deshaun Watson
Here are a few videos of the Clemson coaches previewing the Louisville Cardinals. This is a very exciting week!
Head Coach Dabo Swinney
For all of the criticism surrounding the play of Louisville’s offensive line, the Clemson Tigers enter Saturday with plenty of question marks of their own. The local paper, GreenvilleOnline.com, explains it a little more.
Clemson has endured a rash of injuries and setbacks along the offensive line. That has transformed the depth chart into a shallow talent pool. For instance, this week, senior Reid Webster is listed as the starter at right guard.
And the backup at left tackle.
And the backup at center.
And the backup at right tackle.
“We went into last week thin, and we came out thinner,” offensive coordinator Chad Morris said, alluding to the broken foot interior lineman Jay Guillermo suffered Saturday against North Carolina State.
Guillermo, who has logged snaps at guard and center, will miss three to five weeks. Junior tackle Joe Gore missed the N.C. State game and will miss at least another week after undergoing an appendectomy last week. Shaq Anthony, whom Gore beat out for the starting right tackle position through August camp, transferred before the start of the season.
Clemson closed the spring with 10 linemen on its depth chart. They will face Louisville with seven.
Soooo apparently some Clemson folks are trying to spread the word about having a “silent out” before the game on Saturday. They were not happy when Bobby Petrino said that playing in Death Valley this week will be similar to playing in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse when it comes to noise level. “I don’t know if it can get any louder,” Petrino said.
On Monday afternoon, Bobby Petrino met with the media for his weekly press conference. He talked about Syracuse, previewed Clemson, and said that “there’s a good chance” that DeVante Parker will play on Saturday. Check out the video from thecrunchzone.com or just read the transcript below. Or do both, that is also an option.
Looking back on the Syracuse game, it was a big win for us. It was a good win for us. Again our defense played extremely well. They not only stopped the run and hit the quarterback, but they scored four points. We watched the video. We saw improvement. We hurt ourselves in the first half with penalties and we turned the ball over. There definitely was improvement in the second half.
The other thing I’m excited about is that you can see the competitive spirit and the players competing extremely hard to compete and win the games.
When the news came out about DeVante Parker’s foot injury back on August 25th, the prognosis was that he would be out 6-8 weeks. Today marks 6 weeks from that time. We knew it would be sometime in the range of the Clemson and Florida State games.
SportsInsights.com has tweeted that Parker is now questionable for the Clemson game this Saturday. No official word has come from UofL about this yet, so take it for what it’s worth. But this is from a sports betting site, and those people usually know about injury updates so they can make accurate spreads on games.