Cardinal Authority answers questions about Louisville's upcoming game against Clemson

Cardinal Authority answers questions about Louisville's upcoming game against Clemson

1. Will the Louisville ground game be more productive this week? It needs to and it should have ample opportunity. Clemson ranks among the nation's leaders in nearly all defensive categories, but are middle of the pack against the run.  Following two blowout wins over Wofford and Appalachian State, the Clemson defense ranks 76th.  Opponents are averaging 3.6 yards per attempt against the Tigers and one must believe that the Louisville backfield will proove more formidable than the Tigers first two outings. With the exception of Lamar Jackson's 100-yard outing against Auburn, the Cardinals have stuggled to find consistency on the ground.  Look for multiple players on the depth chart to get a try on Thursday night.

2. Despite whoever starts, will more than one QB play against Clemson? How could the answer be no?  The Cardinals have had multiple players at quarterback every game this season and had numerous contests last season where at least two played.  However, despite the recent history, head coach Bobby Petrino would clearly prefer for one to become the clear number one.  Even with that, one also has to believe that there could also be certain packages that call for multiple quarterbacks to be on the field at the same time.  At this point, until that one quarterback does stand out, it wouldn't surprise anyone if any of the four on the depth chart were called on.

3. What's the strength of the Clemson defense? The easier question may be, where is the weakness in this Tigers defense. Giving up just an average of 255 yards through two games, the Tigers defense has allowed very little to start the season.  They also rank among the top 20 in scoring defense and are third in the nation against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks have completed only 15 of 46 and have been intercepted three times.  If there is a soft spot in the Tigers defense, it appears to be against the run, where they've allowd an averge on 162 yards a game.  Of course, one also has consider Clemson's strength of schedule thus far, having easily defeated Wofford and Appalachian State.

4. What will the atmosphere be like on Thursday night?  Off the hook! There's something about the bright lights and national television cameras on a Thursday night that seems to amp up the atmosphere.  There have been some very memorable Thursday night games at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.  Louisville is 10-8 all-time on ESPN Thursday night broadcasts and have won two of its last three appearances. Clemson is 5-9 in ESPN Thursday night games, but have won four straight.

It's also a blackout, which also seems to amp up the fans and players another notch.

5. What time is CardMarch? The CardMarch is traditionally held 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff.  With Thursday night's ACC-opener slated for a 7:30p.m. start, CardMarch will be at 5:15.  That means fans should begin lining up at least 15-30 minutes before that.  Be there.

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