BITTER: It's not like Clemson blew Louisville off the field a year ago, with the Cardinals just coming up short when a receiver stepped out of bounds prematurely on fourth down play inside the Tigers 10.
"They're very good up front", Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said, per STATS LLC.
Louisville's offense is averaging 615 yards a game, fifth in the nation, but Clemson's defense ranks No. 2, allowing under 150 yards a game. He came up just short last season, but the homefield boost could be enough to swing the game this time around.
Against a singular talent like Jackson, even the best college defenses are overmatched, as Nick Saban and Alabama learned against Watson in two straight national-title games.
Alex: Saturday will serve as the Gators' home opener, one they've been itching to play, no doubt.
The growth we've seen from Duke has been fairly obvious - they are better across the board at the skill positions, Jones is a rising star, and this could be the best offensive and defensive lines the Blue Devils have had under David Cutcliffe. "They're loud", Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt said.
If they fail, it'll once again be up to Bryant to carry a big burden in that offense, both through the air and on the ground. Texas Tech doesn't usually pack a running game that is very efficient, but quarterback Nic Shimonek looks like he could be following in a long line of Red Raiders greats as he was 26 of 30 for 384 yards in the season opening 56-10 win over Eastern Washington.
But past year, Clemson's defense was just as dominant, ranking third in the nation in sacks and sixth in interceptions, while finishing eighth in defensive efficiency, 15th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense. "We're going to have our hands full next week". But I am concerned about the Cardinal defense's ability to contain a Tiger offense now led by junior quarterback Kelly Bryant, a sort of Watson on training wheels.
"Lamar is awesome", offensive tackle Geron Christian said. "It helps you out a lot because you know he can make plays".
Notre Dame at Boston College - The turnover prone Eagles have to get the 34-10 loss to Wake Forest at arm's length after playing a good defensive game in that loss, but losing four turnovers.
It was a thriller last year and this year will be the first time the reigning national champions (Clemson) take on the reigning Heisman Trophy victor (Lamar Jackson).
"He's a great player", Petrino said. "You're watching him the other day and you're like, 'Wow, this guy's pretty good, ' throwing all over the place, running for touchdowns". I'd be thrilled if we could get an encore performance. The team needs Jackson to play well in order for the Cardinals to have a chance and I think Clemson's defense is up to the challenge. "To be able to have that poise in the pocket, to feel it and see it, to have that quick release and accuracy says a lot about his maturity and how far he has come in his game". "It would be nice since the defense did step up this week, to take some weight off their shoulders".
In two games this season, Jackson has been spectacular.
"This year we're still trying to figure out ourselves, figure out our identity", Hyatt said.
We are now into the third week of college football in 2017, with the first two weeks certainly not lacking excitement. Individual game tickets to the Clemson game were made available exclusively to Hokie Club members and season ticket holders. "Let's not make one mistake lead down the road to other mistakes".
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