Uiagalelei rallies Clemson past Louisville 30-24
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — D.J. Uiagalelei’s 8-yard touchdown run with 4:12 left in the game rallied Clemson to a 30-24 victory over Louisville on Saturday night.
The sophomore quarterback also completed 18 of 30 passes for 220 yards and two scores in what was a war of attrition between the two schools. Both starting quarterbacks missed time during the game due to injuries. So, too, did Will Shipley and Kobe Pace, who entered the game as the top two rushers for the Tigers (6-3. 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). Pace left in the first quarter, while Shipley eventually returned.
Clemson also overcame a goal-line stand by Louisville’s defense in the third quarter. However, the Tigers took the lead for the first time — and for good — on a nine-play, 57-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter.
Louisville was led Malik Cunningham, who ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. but he went down with an injury with less than five minutes left in the third quarter. The junior quarterback, who also threw for 174 yards on 12-of-20 passing, returned with 10 minutes left in the game.
The Cardinals (4-5, 2-4) turned the ball over on downs after the Uiagalelei touchdown, which led to a B.T. Potter 40-yard field goal with 2:24 left.
On their final drive, Cunningham got the Cardinals down to the Clemson 2 in the game’s final minute, thanks to a 45-yard pass to Tyler Harrell and a 19-yard catch by Justin Marshall four plays later. However, on fourth-and-goal, he stumbled on a rollout at the 4 with 10 seconds left to secure the victory.
Clemson: In what has been an up-and-down year, the Tigers may have earned their gutsiest win of the season. Louisville’s 223 yards rushing was the most the Tigers have given up all season, but despite that and the injuries, they still found a way to escape with a victory.
Louisville: As has been the case for most of the past five weeks, Louisville played well enough to win, but they again faltered down the stretch. In the end, it’s the fourth loss in their last five games. Cunningham’s injury was the key blow as the Cardinals rushing attack was not the same in the final 20 minutes. Before he went down, he ran for 138 yards on 14 rushes.
Clemson hosts UConn next Saturday afternoon.
Louisville welcomes Syracuse on Saturday afternoon.