.... and this one is the easiest of the selection.
UNC is a solid team, and have been known to play some D. They gave up 47 to the Cardinals last week. Meanwhile, Clemson gave up 6 to those other Tigers (or War Eagles?). Clemson only hung 14 on Auburn. UNC hung 35 on Louisville. The Cardinals coughed up freakin' 705 yards on UNC. 705!!! UNC!!! They gave up over 400, though. Neither team turned the ball over, and though Louisville swiped 35 first downs, fifteen more than UNC, they should have as they controlled the clock for 12 more minutes of game time.
Auburn was bolted down to the terra by Clemson, and there really is nothing else that better describes it. They surpassed the paw's with TOP, but with less first downs, and with only two first half field goals. They managed only 117 yards against Clemson over the course of the game. Auburn. 117 total yards. Ouch. To make matters worse, Clemson just leaned on them for four quarters- punching two TD's on the ground- one from 3 out, another from 24 I think it was. Don't scoff at Auburn- they too have a D. They throttled the paws and gave up only 281 yards. That is impressive.
Picking winners of games 'by proxy games' is stupid by my reckoning, so forget what I just said, but... don't totally forget it.... we did learn a few things that translate... most notably: Jackson from Louisville accounted for 525yards by his dang self... oh, and 6 TD's... He's a one man rock concert, no?
Clemson has the critters. They have a D that plays incredibly aggressive when called on. They make points like rabbits make pellets- and like rabbits, they turn around and eat 'em, and though that may explain the dietary procedure for lagomorph's- it isn't something I can bring myself to believe is for any other reason other than being just plain greedy. Clemson turns around and eats the points they produce. They're friggin' rabbits. Jack rabbits, but rabbits nonetheless.
They'll hang at least 50 points on Louisville, and they'll put a bead on Elmer Fudd (aka Lamar Jackson) by spying him all evening long. They can absolutely hold Louisville to under 40.
The Cardinals can play one heckuva game so long as Jackson is a free ranging threat. No matter what other folks say about that kid, I compare his fashion of play to Randell Cunningham- when you pursue him, you better match speed which means a DB dives in... and he'll pass deep on you the second you do that. If you drop into coverage and try to spy him with a lethargic LB, he'll tuck and sprint. There is but one way to shut him down, and that is to box him and bump the feathers off the receiving corps helmet decals right off the line. The advantage to that is to disrupt timing and position of the receivers... here is the caveat: Jackson has vision like few players have... If you pursue him in the backfield, you better close fast. Otherwise, he'll find the open receiver, or.... juke right past the pursuer. He's a slippery rascal. This calling card Jackson plays whenever he can is why Louisville will post 35~42 points. It's also why they'll lose. I'm standing by for fire when I say this, but Jackson is something else, too- he is NOT a selfless player. He'll look out to pad his own stats before he looks for the team win. That is his undoing.
Defensively, the Cardinals won't contain Clemson near to the level Auburn did. More to the point, though, it's my opinion that Clemson will approach this game a bit differently than they did Auburn- they'll be prepared for a shootout instead of a chess match.
2/0 for the season in the tough calls. let's see if this is three or one.