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LJ8 vs Clemson Front, a Matchup for the Ages

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Clemson-Louisville may very well feature one of the greatest games-within-the-game the sport has ever seen.

The upcoming Clemson-Louisville clash stands as one of college football's games of the year, a rematch of last season's 42-36 thriller in Death Valley. ESPN's College GameDay will be in the Commonwealth's largest city this weekend, with the Tigers and Cardinals set for a primetime, nationally-televised platform on Saturday night. For just the fourth time ever, the defending national champions will meet the reigning Heisman Trophy winner; history will be watching.

Exaltations aside, this showdown of strengths will be one to remember. Clemson-Louisville may very well feature one of the greatest games-within-the-game, Lamar Jackson vs the Tiger defensive front, the sport has ever seen.

A year ago, Jackson became the first player FBS player, all-time, to compile 3,300 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in a single season. He scored 51 total touchdowns, eight of them in the first half of his first game, becoming the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever. Setting countless program, conference and national records, Jackson ranked second in the country averaging 393.3 yards per game; two games into this fall, Jackson is up to 505.        

Clemson, remarkably, has led the game in tackles for loss each of the last four years. This group, featuring the likes of Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, is the program's best yet. Led by Bryant's four, the Tigers have the most sacks in power five football, all eleven of which came in a dominating win over Auburn. The only reason Clemson's total isn't higher is because Kent State completed just one pass for one yard in the opener. 

What awaits between the two contenders isn't just a key pairing in the ACC and nationally, it's a matchup for the ages. 

College football has never seen a quarterback quite like the only-improving Jackson, nor a defensive line quite like Clemson's, a unit where all four current starters will very likely be first round NFL draft picks. Soon, we will see them all together, hype and hardware included.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports