LOUISVILLE, KY. – The Clemson defense came up big for the Tigers (6-3, 5-2 ACC) in a 30-24 win on the road at Louisville (4-5, 2-4 ACC) on Saturday night, making four straight stops inside the five to secure the win. The Cardinals had first and goal at the two-yard line with 1:18 to play, but Clemson’s defense didn’t budge as they stopped the Cards on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line for the second time on the night.
D.J. Uiagalelei scored the go-ahead touchdown on an eight-yard touchdown run up the middle with 4:12 to play to make the score 27-24, his third total touchdown of the game. B.T. Potter would add three more points for good measure on a 40-yard field goal to give the Tigers the 30-24 final score.
Clemson’s defense held the Cards scoreless in the redzone, forced a turnover and allowed just six-of-17 third-down conversions. Trenton Simpson led the defense with 10 tackles and stopped Louisville on two of three fourth-down conversions.
Offensively, Uiagalelei completed 18-of-30 passes for a season-high 220 yards with two passing touchdowns. He also added one rushing touchdown. As a unit, the offense finished with 338 yards of total offense
On the first possession, Louisville went 75 yards in six plays, with Jalen Mitchell going 26 yards up the middle for a touchdown to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.
It took the Tigers just three plays and 53 seconds to respond, as Uiagalelei connected with Beaux Collins on a post route for 46 yards to tie the score at 7-7.
Clemson forced a stop defensively but fumbled the punt return, giving the Cardinals the ball back on the 28-yard line. Louisville would take advantage of the short field, as Malik Cunningham would run through the left side for 23 yards for the score.
After a Louisville field goal, Potter answered with one of his own, hitting a 38-yarder with 5:44 to play in the half. The defense again held, and Clemson took over on its own 14-yard line with just 1:33 to play in the half. Uiagalelei marched the Tigers down the field, going 6-9 for 71 yards on the drive, culminating in an eight-yard scoring pass to Davis Allen with 18 seconds left to knot the score at 17-17 heading into the half.
Clemson had just two drives in the second quarter but scored on each, going 10 plays and nine plays, respectively, for 140 yards. The Tigers averaged 6.6 yards per play in the half.
On their first possession of the second half, the Cardinals went 59 yards in three plays, with Cunningham taking it 51 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown, his second of the game.
Will Shipley answered with a 75-yard kickoff return to put Clemson in scoring position, but the Tigers were stopped on the one-yard line on the fourth-and-goal.
Potter kicks a 34-yard field goal to pull the Tigers within four 24-20.
Clemson will return to Death Valley next week for the first leg of a two-game homestand over the next two weeks. Clemson will host UConn on Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, Nov. 13, for a game slated to kick off at noon ET on ACC Network.
Focused🔒 pic.twitter.com/xyfiqwLUsx— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
Game 🔛 pic.twitter.com/KLT5HmAdhc— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
Game 🔛 pic.twitter.com/KLT5HmAdhc
Is it showtime yet? 😅 pic.twitter.com/dtVAvri1C0— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
Is it showtime yet? 😅 pic.twitter.com/dtVAvri1C0
⚪️🟠ɪᴄʏ ᴡʜɪᴛᴇs⚪️🟠 pic.twitter.com/8DZBu2YMLq— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
⚪️🟠ɪᴄʏ ᴡʜɪᴛᴇs⚪️🟠 pic.twitter.com/8DZBu2YMLq
*checks watch*Yep. It's Beaux time! pic.twitter.com/DFcNmsE2q9— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
Yep. It's Beaux time! pic.twitter.com/DFcNmsE2q9
A couple high school teammates makin' plays in primetime! @DJUiagalelei x @beaux_collins | 📺ACCN pic.twitter.com/2GKCDwgsfF— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2021
A couple high school teammates makin' plays in primetime! @DJUiagalelei x @beaux_collins | 📺ACCN pic.twitter.com/2GKCDwgsfF
🗣#BIG5INCOpic.twitter.com/N9CFttGRx4— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 7, 2021
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 7, 2021