While the comments of Syracuse LB Mikel Jones had some Louisville fans up in arms on Wednesday, a few quotes from Cardinal QB Malik Cunningham drew a similar reaction from the Clemson fan base.
During Wednesday’s ACC Kickoff festivities in Charlotte, Cunningham was asked about U of L’s 30-24 defeat to the Tigers last season. The Cardinals held the lead for the bulk of the evening, lost it in the 4th quarter, and then were stopped on four plays from the 2-yard line in the game’s final minute.
“That game haunts me every day,” Cunningham said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that last drive. The game was on TV the other day. I watched all the way up until that. The last four plays, I don’t watch them. It wasn’t the best version of Louisville. It wasn’t us.”
After being stuffed on their first two attempts to score what could have been the game’s decisive touchdown, Louisville called a timeout with 39 seconds to play. Cunningham said that timeout may have cost them a shot at winning with their 4th down play after their attempt on 3rd down was also stopped.
“We had no timeouts, so we had to go signal. And if you know, Clemson steals signals, so it’s kind of hard signaling the plays and they’ve got 60 coaches looking at the signals,” Cunningham said. “We don’t blame it on that. I wouldn’t say we lost it because of signals. It wasn’t that. They beat us. It’s fair and square.”
Despite several close calls, Louisville is 0-7 in games against Clemson since joining the ACC in 2014. Cunningham has started at quarterback in two of those defeats, the narrow loss last season and a 45-10 rout in 2019.
On Nov. 12, Cunningham will make his first start against the Tigers in Death Valley. It’s safe to say he’s looking forward to it.
“That (game) definitely is double circled, for sure,” Cunningham said. “When we see them again, it’s going to be a different outcome.”