Recap: U of L falls short, 23-16, at Clemson

A quick recap from the University of Louisville's 23-16 loss to Clemson in Death Valley on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals are now 5-2 on the season.

The University of Louisville fell short in a disappointing 23-16 loss to Clemson on Saturday afternoon before more than 81,000 fans in Death Valley.

The Cardinals' offense sputtered for much of the game but had a chance to win it in the end after a 73-yard pass from Will Gardner to James Quick to the 8-yard-line.

But the Cardinals couldn't punch it in.

Quarterback Will Gardner was forced to spike the ball on third down to stop the clock at the 2-yard-line and then his pass on fourth down was batted away.

Clemson then ran out the final 21 seconds to go 23-2 in the past four years at home.

The U of L defense played good enough to win, holding the Clemson offense to more than 200 yards fewer than its average with just 229 total yards.

Clemson scored a touchdown on a long punt return and then had another defensive TD when Reggie Bonanfon was hit and fumbled in the end zone.

PLAY OF THE GAME: I'll say instead of a play of the game it was a drive - the final drive of the game for Clemson.

The Tigers not only ended up getting three points out of the deal but also killed a lot of time and limited the Cardinals chances in the end.

Again, it didn't put the game out of the reach but the 12-play, 68-yard drive killed 5:34 in the game and was huge for the Tigers.

GAME BALL: Again, it will go to the defense. The Cardinals were sensational for much of the game and haven't allowed an offensive TD in 17 quarters.

While the offense sputtered and the Cardinals lost, the defense proved they are one of the elite defensive units in the country.

James Sample and James Burgess had interceptions, Jeremaine Reve came back and played well and the entire defense was just really, really good.

Clemson had 229 total yards, including 157 passing and just 72 rushing. The Cardinals held the Tigers to 2 of 16 on third-down conversions.

THEY SAID IT: Bobby Petrino: "I thought we would be able to run the one touchdown play we have practiced and get it in on fourth down. . . . You can always look back and thin well maybe we should have thrown a fade or something like that."

BY THE NUMBERS: 101 - James Quick had six catches for 101 yards. 22 - Eli Rogers' TD catch from Will Gardner. 264 - Total offense for Louisville. 229 - Total offense for Clemson. 65 - U of L had 11 penalties for 65 yards. 41 - John Wallace's first-quarter field goal.

UP NEXT: The Cardinals will host North Carolina State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

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