Matt Connolly

Final thoughts on Louisville-Clemson, including a prediction

Louisville has been as competitive against Clemson as any team over the past three years.

The Cardinals and Tigers have played three consecutive games that could have gone either way, and Clemson made enough plays late to come out on top each time.

Winning close games has been Clemson’s specialty under Dabo Swinney.

The Tigers are 14-3 since the start of the 2014 season in one-score games, including an 8-1 mark since the start of last year.

But most of those wins came with Deshaun Watson at quarterback.

Kelly Bryant did help the Tigers knock off Auburn last week, but the defense carried the load as Bryant and company were held to 14 points.

The offense will need to make more plays to keep up with Lamar Jackson and Louisville, and based on what I saw last week I’m not sure Bryant and the other first-year starters on Clemson’s team are ready to this early in the season.

I think Louisville and Jackson are able to sneak out a close win. The Cardinals are due to win a 50-50 game against Clemson, and the Tigers are due to lose one.

Prediction: Louisville 30, Clemson 24