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Clemson-Louisville highlights trio of top 10 matchups

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Clemson-Louisville highlights trio of top 10 matchups

It is the primetime game on ABC. As of now, Louisville is the slight favorite at -2 and the over/under rests at 68.

Before I get too involved in that game, because I am just so excited about that game, let me just drop in on some other ACC matchups this week that have (less) interesting story lines.

Louisville dismantled the Thundering Heard in Huntington, W.V.to the tune of 59-28 the last time they took to the grid-iron. The Tigers have claimed victory in two closely contested matches between the two schools over the last two seasons.

Like Swinney said, he isn't just a runner.

For Stanford. You have their Heisman Trophy hopeful, Christian McCaffrey, a stingy defense that has allowed only three touchdowns in three games, and the underrated play of quarterback Ryan Burns. "They always play physical, with great effort, and really make you have to work the length of the field".

Basically, if you're going to give any edge to Lamar at this point, it's that, when he decides to take off an run, he's as risky as there is in today's game. He has not thrown an interception this season. Lamar Jackson is what the kids call "a problem" because he is insanely quick in open space and he doesn't waste movement. Jaylen Smith and Cody Hikutini have also done pretty well.

However, No. 3/5 Clemson's defense will be the best the Cards have faced.

Clemson expects to see Jackson (61 carries, 526 yards, a nation-high 12 rushing touchdowns) take off with the ball both on the fly and in scripted plays. Opposing teams have found ways to put points up on the board against Louisville (22.5), but not almost enough to keep up with their potent offensive out-put. That's not good news for opposing ACC defenses. That holding true, last week's performance marked the first time since November 21 of a year ago that he failed to reach the 100-yard mark on the ground. He was was 32-of-48 for 304 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Louisville has scored 15 passing touchdowns in four games. The running back ran to the flat which drew the safety up the field. Gallman is set to have a break-out performance one of these days. Cole Hikutini had 85 yards and two touchdowns.

"I know (Watson's) the best player in the country", Clemson receiver Ray-Ray McCloud said. Junior quarterback Kenny Hill has been a big playmaker in the Horned Frogs' offense, as he has already threw for 1,487 yards and six touchdowns. He has accounted for eight of Houston's 23 offensive touchdowns. Clemson is the ACC defending champs and national runner-ups. The Tigers are a tough and speedy group that fly to the ball for four quarters.

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That's easier said than done, and might only be realistic for defenses like Clemson that have elite talent.

Offensively, Louisville football is averaging 363.8 yards in passing and 318.3 yards in rushing, and 63.5 points per game.

Radcliff produced his third straight 100-yard-rushing game and eighth of his career in the Cardinals' last game against Marshall.

"You don't hear nothing about the defense this week; it's all about Louisville's offense and what they've been doing the last few weeks", Johnson said. Stanford is out to make it four of five in the PAC-12, and with a victory, it would put them at 3-0 in conference play before a couple of Pac-12 teams have even played their first league game.

This is the best game of Week 5 and should have major implications on the ACC title picture and early playoff outlook.

The Under is 13-5 in the Tigers last 18 home games. It could be a very hard evaluation, to be honest, because of the concern about durability because so much of his game is built right now on running. After four weeks of play, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia represent the Big 12 in the top 10 of the adjusted offensive ratings while Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Miami are in the top 10 of the adjusted defensive ratings. Something has got to give on Saturday evening.

Jackson has been sensational for the Cardinals.

Clemson seemed to struggle offensively in the early games of the season, but are picking up steam as they roll forward. The defense has been all that is advertised and then some.

"They're very multiple, especially on third down". The Louisville Cardinals are the real deal. Watson been in the national spotlight many times, and it's proving time, he's ready for his moment. "We embrace the big stage, that's what we want". The home environment of Death Valley swings this one to Clemson.

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