Louisville TD on the last play of the game made the score look closer than it was. The Tigers have clinched the outright division title for an 8th time (not counting the shared division title in 2012 or divisionless 2020 covid season)! The Tigers have played 150 games since they last lost back-to-back games in 2011. That's the longest streak in the nation! They also extended the nation's longest home win streak to 39 and have won 67 straight games when leading at the half. The Tigers are still turning the ball over at an alarming rate, with 4 fumbles of which they lost 3, but a win is a win! Louisville led the nation in takeaways and sacks coming into the game, so you'd expect at least one turnover, but that's 9 now in the last 3 games for the Tigers. Fortunately, the defense was awesome, even without Trenton Simpson! Of course Cunningham leaving the game early helped the Tigers' cause, but that backup was pretty good too.
I'll have post-game interviews, highlights and notes posted in a bit!
WITH THE WIN...
Clemson clinched the ACC Atlantic Division outright. The Tigers were already guaranteed to represent the division in the ACC Championship Game by virtue of holding head-to-head tiebreakers in the event of identical conference records.
Clemson has now produced its 30th nine-win season in school history. It is Clemson's 13th under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, more than doubling College Football Hall of Famer Danny Ford (six).
Clemson has now won at least nine of the first 10 games of a season for the 16th time in school history, joining the 1939 (9-1), 1948 (10-0), 1950 (9-0-1), 1978 (9-1), 1981 (10-0), 1987 (9-1), 2011 (9-1), 2012 (9-1), 2013 (9-1), 2015 (10-0), 2016 (9-1), 2017 (9-1), 2018 (10-0), 2019 (10-0) and 2020 (9-1) campaigns.
Clemson pushed its all-time record against Louisville to 8-0.
Clemson won in its first eight games against a school for the second time all-time, joining Clemson's wins in the first 29 games of its all-time series with Virginia.
Clemson improved to 4-0 at home against Louisville all-time.
Clemson won its 39th consecutive home game to extend the longest home winning streak in ACC history. No member of Clemson’s roster has lost a home game at Clemson in their careers.
Clemson (39) tied the 2005-11 Oklahoma Sooners (39) for the ninth-longest home winning streak in FBS history.
Clemson has now gone six calendar years without a home loss. Clemson’s last home loss was on Nov. 12, 2016 against Pitt.
Clemson pushed its national-best home record in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014) to 58-1.
Clemson won its 10th consecutive game against conference opponents, dating to last season. It marks Clemson’s fifth conference winning streak of 10 or more games since the ACC’s founding in 1953.
Clemson won a seventh conference regular season game in a season for the 10th time in school history, joining the 1983 (7-0), 2012 (7-1), 2013 (7-1), 2015 (8-0), 2016 (7-1), 2017 (7-1), 2018 (8-0), 2019 (8-0) and 2020 (8-1) campaigns.
Clemson improved to 48-2 in its last 50 games against ACC Atlantic Division teams, including games against typical Atlantic division foes in the division-free season in 2020.
Clemson became the first team to win 100 games against Power Five opponents since 2013. Clemson's national-best 100 Power Five wins since 2013 include victories against Boston College (10), Wake Forest (10), Georgia Tech (9), Syracuse (9), NC State (8), Louisville (8), Florida State (7), South Carolina (7), Notre Dame (3), Ohio State (3), Miami (3), North Carolina (3), Virginia (3), Virginia Tech (3), Alabama (2), Pitt (2), Auburn (2), Oklahoma (2), Texas A&M (2), Georgia (1), Duke (1), Maryland (1) and Iowa State (1).
Clemson improved to 30-7 in games following a loss under Dabo Swinney, including season openers following a loss in the previous season finale. Clemson has not lost back-to-back games in the same season since November 2011.
Clemson played its 150th consecutive game since losing back-to-back games in a single season. Clemson's 150-game streak dating to 2011 is the nation's longest active streak.
Clemson improved to 31-6 under Dabo Swinney in games in which the Tigers enter ranked lower in the AP Poll than they did in its previous contest.
Clemson is now 74-4 when scoring first since 2015.
Clemson has now won 104 of its last 106 games, including each of its last 67, when leading at halftime.
Clemson led 24-10 entering the fourth quarter and improved to 125-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters. Clemson has now won 66 straight games when taking a lead into the fourth quarter, dating to November 2016.
Clemson has now won 104 of its last 105 games when holding teams under 23 points (dates to 2010).
Head Coach Dabo Swinney (159) pulled within one victory of Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (160) for the second-most victories in the first 15 seasons of a head coaching career in FBS history.
Clemson gained 439 total yards, its fourth 400-yard game of the season and the Tigers’ second in their last three games.
Clemson rushed for 248 rushing yards, its third 200-yard rushing performance of the season (280 vs. Louisiana Tech; 293 vs. Syracuse). Clemson improved to 75-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson recorded a 26-15 advantage in first downs. Clemson now has a 122-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011 and has won its last 62 such contests.
Wide receiver Antonio Williams recorded career highs in receptions (10) and receiving yards (83) with a touchdown.
Williams’ previous career high in receptions was five, set three times this season. His career high in receiving yards was 76, set this season at Florida State.
Williams also added 23 punt return yards to finish with a career-high 106 all-purpose yards.
Williams’ 10 receptions were the most by a Clemson player this season and most by a Clemson player since Amari Rodgers’ 10 receptions against Pitt in 2020.
Williams’ 10 receptions tied the Clemson single-game freshman record shared by Sammy Watkins (2011 vs. Auburn) and Artavis Scott (2014 vs. Louisville and Boston College).
Williams caught his third touchdown of the season on a four-yard slant from DJ Uiagalelei in the second quarter.
On the play, Uiagalelei (33) passed Kyle Parker (32 from 2009-10) for sole possession of the eighth-most career touchdown passes in Clemson history.
Uiagalelei completed 19-of-27 passes for 185 yards with one touchdown. He also added 32 yards on a career-high 15 rushing attempts with a rushing touchdown. He also recorded a six-yard reception — the first of his career — on a pass from Williams.
Uiagalelei improved to 20-5 as a starter. He became the 10th Clemson quarterback since World War II to record at least 20 wins as a starter.
Clemson opened the scoring on an 11-yard rushing touchdown by Uiagalelei on the game’s opening possession. Clemson’s 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive was Clemson’s seventh scoring drive on an opening possession in 10 games this season.
With the rushing touchdown, Uiagalelei (13) passed Rodney Williams (12 from 1985-88) for sole possession of the seventh-most rushing touchdowns by a Clemson quarterback since 1953.
With his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, Uiagalelei set a new single-season career high in rushing touchdowns, surpassing his four in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Clemson has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 64 of its 65 games since the start of the 2018 season.
Clemson’s 64 games with a rushing touchdown since 2018 are the most in the country. Clemson has also rushed for multiple touchdowns in 53 of those games, the most in the nation.
Running back Will Shipley rushed 19 times for 97 yards with a touchdown.
Shipley scored a highlight-reel 25-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, hurdling a Louisville defender en route to the end zone.
The rushing touchdown was Shipley’s 12th rushing touchdown of the season, giving him a new single-season career high, surpassing his 11 from his freshman campaign in 2021.
Running back Phil Mafah rushed 10 times for 106 yards, including a 39-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run that helped seal the victory.
Mafah’s 106 yards were a career high, surpassing his 94 against Syracuse three weeks earlier.
Mafah’s 10 carries were the fewest by a Clemson 100-yard rusher since the 2020 ACC Championship Game (10 by Travis Etienne).
Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee recorded the eighth sack of his career on a third down to end a Louisville first-quarter drive.
Linebacker Wade Woodaz recorded his first career sack and his first career forced fumble in the third quarter.
Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and safety Jalyn Phillips combined on Clemson’s first takeaway of the game on a fumble forced by Trotter and recovered by Phillips. The forced fumble and recovered fumble were the first of Trotter and Phillips’ respective careers.
Linebacker Barrett Carter recorded his third sack of the season in the third quarter. Carter’s sack was Clemson’s third of the game and was Clemson’s 475th since 2012, the most in the nation. Entering Saturday, the next-closest team in the country was Alabama (432).
In the fourth quarter, Carter recorded his second interception of the season. It was his first since Clemson’s second game of the season against Furman.
With Phillips’ fumble recovery and Carter’s interception, Clemson recorded multiple takeaways in a game for the first time since a 30-20 win against No. 10 NC State on Oct. 1.
Carter added his second sack of the game on Louisville’s final drive. It was Carter’s first multi-sack game of his career and the first by a Clemson linebacker since Trenton Simpson also accomplished the feat at Louisville last season.
Carter finished the game with eight tackles (3.5 for loss), two sacks, an interception and a pass breakup. He became the first Clemson player under Dabo Swinney to post at least 2.0 sacks and an interception in a single game.
Carter became the first player to record 3.5 or more tackles for loss, 2.0 or more sacks and an interception in a game between two Power Five teams since South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram against Auburn in 2011.
Clemson’s four sacks tied for its second-most this season, trailing its five against Syracuse.
Clemson allowed a 44-yard first quarter run, the first run of 30 or more yards against the Tigers this season. Clemson, Iowa and Washington were the only programs in the nation to enter Saturday having not allowed a run of 30 or more yards this season.
Placekicker B.T. Potter appeared in his 65th career game to tie Nolan Turner (65 from 2017-21) for the fourth-most career games played in Clemson history.
Potter made his 50th career start at placekicker, pulling him two shy of the Clemson record at that position set by Chandler Catanzaro (52 from 2010-13).
Potter became the fourth player at any position to start 50 career games at Clemson all-time, joining punter Will Spiers (69), tackle Mitch Hyatt (57) and placekicker Chandler Catanzaro (52).
With his third point of the game on a 19-yad first-quarter field goal, Potter (429 career points) became the seventh player (and sixth kicker) in ACC history to reach 425 career points.
Potter scored in a 50th consecutive game. Potter has scored in every game since earning the starting placekicking job prior to the 2019 season after serving as the team's kickoff specialist in 2018. The Clemson record is 53 games, set by Chandler Catanzaro from 2010-13.
Clemson outscored Louisville, 7-0, in the “Middle Eight,” defined as the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half. Clemson improved to 62-2 since 2015 when outscoring opponents in the Middle Eight. (Note: Clemson also scored an additional touchdown 28 seconds after the Middle Eight to help extend its lead.)
Clemson offensive lineman Will Putnam led Clemson down the Hill with the American flag prior to the game for Military Appreciation day. His father, Col. Neil Putnam, served 30 years in the United States Army, including 24 years as a member of the Special Forces regiment known commonly as Green Berets.
Captains for the contest were cornerback Sheridan Jones, safety Jalyn Phillips, offensive lineman Will Putnam and wide receiver Drew Swinney.