No. 12 Clemson wins 39th straight at home 31-16 over Louisville

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CLEMSON, S.C. – DJ Uiagalelei had plenty of his own accomplishments to feel great about in No. 12 Clemson’s 31-16 win over Louisville. Instead, the Tigers’ starting quarterback gushed about teammate Will Shipley‘s picture-perfect hurdle over Cardinals safety M.J. Griffin on a touchdown run.

“Man, that hurdle was crazy,” said Uiagalelei, a huge smile on his face. “When you think about it, that guy was standing straight up.”

Shipley, the Tigers’ tailback, put up a signature play in the third quarter Saturday with a straight-ahead, 25-yard burst as he hurdled Louisville safety Griffin to reach the end zone.

And after Shipley landed, he moved between two other defenders to finish off the scoring run that put the Tigers ahead 24-10 and sent them on the way to a 39th straight home win.

“It just shows he’s Superman,” Clemson offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter said. “He can fly over people.”

The effort from all the Tigers (9-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) – superhuman or not – was a welcome result after the team’s first loss of the season, 35-14, at No. 20 Notre Dame.

Uiagalelei, who ran for a score and threw for a second, said the team’s mindset was to return to what they had done in opening 8-0.

“We definitely wanted to play great tonight, we wanted to dominate,” Uiagalelei said. “We wanted to get back on track to how we play offense.”

The Tigers (9-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) had wrapped up the ACC Atlantic Division – and its spot in the league title game next month – a week ago. Now, they’ll claim the berth as solo division champs.

Clemson improved to improve to 8-0 all-time over Louisville (6-4, 3-4). The Cardinals, who came in with a four-game win streak, played the second half without standout quarterback Malik Cunningham, who was hurt on the last play of the second quarter.

Uiagalelei completed 19 of 27 throws for 185 yards. Phil Mafah ran for 106 yards and Shipley 97 as the Tigers finished with 248 yards on the ground.

Clemson needed a fast start and got it. Uiagalelei led a 12-play, 75-yard scoring march on the opening drive that he ended with a nifty 11-yard run as the Tigers built a 10-0 lead.

Uiagalelei’s 4-yard pass to freshman Antonio Williams with 32 seconds left before the half sent Clemson into the break up 17-7.

Williams had a career best 10 catches for 83 yards.

Louisville was held to 160 yards in the first half – and 61 came in the final half minute as the Cardinals moved to the Clemson 14 before the clock ran out.

Cunningham looked like he had the speed and a path to the end zone on the half’s final play, but he stumbled cutting across the field and fell. Trainers came out as the team headed to the locker room and Cunningham spent a few minutes on the field before joining them.

Cunningham did not return due to a right shoulder injury as Brock Domann took over at quarterback. Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said Cunningham was day-to-day heading into next week’s game against No. 17 North Carolina State, and he’ll know more as the week goes on.

“There’s a lot of positive to take from this game,” Satterfield said. “We go back to our place next week, Senior Day, we’ve got to regroup.”


Louisville: The Cardinals four straight wins to gain bowl eligibility was a solid step for the program. However, if Cunningham is significantly hurt, it could dent the positive vibes around a team that bounced back from an 0-3 ACC start.

Clemson: The Tigers will feel better about themselves after their decisive win over Louisville. But the offense still lost three fumbles (two by Shipley) and the defense was hit for several big plays that kept Louisville in this one much longer than necessary.


Clemson played without leading tackler in linebacker Trenton Simpson, starting offensive lineman Walker Parks and punt returner Will Taylor. All were announced out shortly before the kickoff. Starting defensive end Xavier Thomas re-injured the foot that kept him out of the first five games and he won’t return this season.


Louisville plays its final regular-season home game vs. No. 17 North Carolina State on Saturday.

Clemson closes its ACC regular season against Miami on Saturday.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.