Overview: Louisville is an average at best ACC team talent-wise that has seen glorious highs and catastrophic lows in the past four years. Heisman-winner Lamar Jackson catapulted the Cardinals into the national conversation in 2016 as they narrowly lost the infamous Game Day matchup at Death Valley. The cracks were visible in 2017, but the walls came tumbling down in 2018 as the team rightfully quit on Petrino. Clemson isn’t known for running up the score, but they dropped 77 on Petrino last season with backups and starters alike. Scott Satterfield (formerly of App State) has the Cardinals at 4-2 with losses to Notre Dame and FSU, showing how much of a difference coaching makes. The offense is potent (averaging 37.3 ppg), but the defense leaves much to be desired (allowing over 30 points per game).
Talent: The Cardinals have no players on TDN’s Top 200 Board and no All-ACC selections from 2018. This is primarily because the 2018 season was an aberration and a disaster that doesn’t reflect Louisville’s true position. David Hale and Andrea Adleson’s midseason All-ACC team does have WR Tutu Atwell and OT Mekhi Becton listed in addition to Satterfield as the coach of the year.
Oddshark: The Predicted Score is Clemson 54.8 to Louisville 16.2. Clemson is favored by 24, and 58% of bets are on Clemson. The over/under is 62 and 78% of bets are on the over.
William’s Take: Louisville went from having possibly the worst coach in major college football to an excellent coach in Scott Satterfield, which will accelerate their ‘rebuild’. Clemson should have their way with Louisville (especially on offense), but Louisville could be a contender a couple of years down the line. Prediction: Clemson 63 Louisville 17