Will Clemson Spoil the Blackout Party?

expect a huge and raucous crowd tonight at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Louisville is a six-point underdog against the Tigers, who

U of L is asking fans to wear black in a “blackout”,  a tradition started at U of L in 2003, for the nationally-televised (7:30 on ESPN) contest. Clemson is ranked 11th.

Bobby Petrino’s Cards must pull the upset to avoid an 0-3 start to the season. Still in question is the identity of the Cardinals’ quarterback. Reggie Bonnafon started against Auburn, but was pulled in favor of freshman phenom Lamar Jackson, who nearly led U of L to an upset in Atlanta. But Jackson looked like a freshman last week against Houston, and Kyle Bolin came on to direct a couple of 4th-quarter TD drives. Still awaiting his first action is Will Gardner, who started several games last year.

Yesterday, in an ACC press conference, Petrino said this: “We’ll just wait ’til tomorrow. There’s a possibility that you’ll see more than one quarterback in there, but hopefully we’ll get in there and get off to a good start. That’s the number one thing we’re looking at is trying to start faster.”

No matter who starts, Clemson presents a big challenge. Last year at Clemson, U of L fell just short, 23-17, as U of L didn’t score in the last minute, though it had the ball on the Clemson 2-yard line. Gardner had come on in relief of Bonnafon in that one.

“This is a big game for us,” Petrino said.  “Obviously, we’re playing a very good football team. I think the atmosphere will be great. You get excited for that. We need to stay focused. Hopefully, the two games we’ve played and the competition we’ve played will help us and we’ll see improvement from last Saturday to this Thursday.”