Louisville — The members of the Clemson defense had heard all week about the uncanny playmaking ability of Lamar Jackson , Louisville’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who had performed magnificently last year in nearly engineering an upset of the Tigers.
The Clemson defensive line, in particular, took exception to the suggestion that Jackson was poised to elevate his Heisman candidacy this season with another virtuoso showing, this time in the friendly confines of Cardinal Stadium and in front of a national television audience.
Elbow room in the stands grew increasingly available in the final minutes of the third quarter following a one-yard touchdown run by Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant , charged with replacing Deshaun Watson, the offensive MVP in last season’s national championship game.
With the first major showdown between ACC powers at hand this time, the stadium Saturday night was virtually filled by kickoff, with the sea of Louisville black dwarfing Clemson fans in their customary orange.
Clemson loyalists were able to celebrate the first points of the game when Bryant kept the ball on a read option, ran around the right side and dragged a defender into the end zone with 9:45 left in the first quarter.
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