Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did not wait for the official to announce that Andrew Booth was ejected after the freshman threw a punch at Louisville defensive back Trennell Troutman during the third quarter of Clemson’s 45-10 win Saturday afternoon.
Swinney sent the defensive back straight from the field to the locker room.
“Really disappointed in Booth. That’s not who we are,” Swinney said after the win, Clemson’s 22nd in a row. “Really disappointed there. There will be some consequences involved with that… That’s not acceptable behavior at all.”
Booth and Troutman were tangled up during a punt early in the third quarter when Booth slung Troutman to the ground and jumped on top of him. With the play over, Booth threw a punch and connected with Troutman’s helmet. Swinney did not say whether or not the cornerback will be suspended, but he did make it clear he will face a punishment.
Several of the leaders on Clemson’s team confronted Booth in the locker room, according to Swinney.
“He’ll have some consequences with me. We talked about it as a team in there just a minute ago. Kind of let some of the seniors have a little say, because the team was not happy,” Swinney said. “The team was really upset about it, especially the veterans. That’s not who we are. He was very remorseful and disappointed in himself. And he’ll learn from it.”
While Swinney was unhappy with Booth, he added that the punch is not indicative of the type of person Booth is.
“The one thing I can say about Andrew Booth is he is one of the best young people, from an unbelievable family, and if you’d have asked me if I had to list 1 through 100 who was most likely to do something like that, he’d have been at the bottom of the list,” Swinney said.
Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables echoed those sentiments.
“Andrew’s a great kid and a great family. That’s not who he is, but he lost his mind temporarily and will have to suffer the consequences,” Venables said. “That’s not the image we want out there as a football team.”
Clemson was clinging to a 10-3 lead late in the first half when it took over at its own 23-yard line with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter.
The Tigers proceeded to drive 77 yards in five plays to take a 17-3 lead into the break.
The final play of the drive was the most impressive as Trevor Lawrence rolled to his left and threw back across his body to Justyn Ross, who went up and made a play in traffic in the back of the end zone.
“I just put it up where only he could get it in the back of the end zone,” Lawrence said. “The receivers we have, they’ll make plays. We’ve seen them do it all the time ... just giving him a chance to make a play.”