Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Clemson offers Lamar Jackson a chance to take the Heisman lead

NCAA Football Mississippi State at Louisiana Tech Gerri Green and MSU’s defense have been high-havoc thus far. Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Kristopher Love | 17 September, 2017, 06:25

Penn State will face a Georgia State team that has given up at least 230 yards per game on the ground. It could have national ramifications.

The Clemson Tigers and Louisville Cardinals meet Saturday in college football action at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on ABC. The Tech people felt that Clemson folks didn't spend enough money when they came to town, so the Tiger faithful chose to prove them wrong by buying stuff with $2 bills that would show their spending power. They certainly did on Saturday against a 13th-ranked Auburn team that came in boasting one of the best offensive lines in the Southeastern Conference. Plus he is better than most running backs. Great, me too! It appears we aren't alone, either. "Where we came from, it's just big that we both went to schools". "First of all, we should have confidence that we're there and that we can play, but it is up to us to win the game". Clemson has beaten Louisville three years in a row, but the games have all been close - 23-17 in 2014, 20-17 in 2015, and the memorable 42-36 contest last season. Deshaun Watson, who was a first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans, rallied the Tigers with two fourth quarter touchdown passes.

The College football season is starting to get into full swing, as we might not have some of the marquee matchups from the first two weeks but are starting to see lots more competitive games across the board.

On the other hand, Louisville's Seth Dawkins has been solid returning kickoffs, and a big one in this game could be a big boost against what has been an outstanding Clemson defense.

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).

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Kelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers warms up prior to the Tigers' game against the Auburn Tigers at Memorial Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Clemson, South Carolina.

"All three of them, Christian, Dexter and Clelin had great years last year", Bryant said. But even as they dealt with a Heisman race, and championship run and the everyday vigors of life as a college student, the two made sure to carve out some time for one another. I expect a lot more wrinkles, twists, and surprises for the Clemson defense, which is really, really good.

Both these teams have looked good early on even though they haven't truly been tested. Bryant, the 20-year-old from SC, has looked promising in the first two games of the season and even led the Tigers to a 14-6 victory over the #13 ranked Auburn Tigers. Alexander is a shut-down defender and his presence on the field makes opposing offenses a bit more predictable in where they will go with the football.

But Jackson is a different breed.

Jackson, by himself, has averaged over 500 yards of offense through two games.

So, you know, maybe this game isn't all that exciting to you right now. Defensively, Clemson is allowing 4.5 points and 118.5 yards per game. No better way to further prove he's the best player in the country than knocking off the national champs in Week 3 of '17.

Junior cornerback Jaire Alexander's absence with a knee injury against Purdue hasn't helped and is uncertain for Clemson, though Petrino said he's progressing. I much prefer to watch him.

Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville): Need we say more.