Swinney on Watson's excitement for rivalry game


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney took part in the weekly ACC teleconference on Tuesday and answered a question about whether his starting quarterback Deshaun Watson would be more fired up than normal for Saturday's rivalry game against the Gamecocks.

"He’s only had one rivalry week. I think Deshaun is fired up every week, and he wants to win them all," Swinney said. "He knows that this is a season of it’s own, but he doesn’t want to win this one anymore than he wanted to win last week. We do have some fans out there that if we went 1-11 but win that one, hey I’m with you. No, you’re not. You work too hard behind closed doors to prepare. The fun is in the winning."

Swinney was very impressed with Watson's play on basically one leg against the Gamecocks last year.

"It was huge," Swinney said. "I’ve never seen anything like that. It was incredible. I’m just glad that he was able to get well, and he’s had a great season and we need him to have a strong finish."

Watson was named as a Maxwell Award finalist on Tuesday with RB Derrick Henry and RB Christian McCaffrey as the award that goes to the nation's top college football player. He was also named a finalist on Tuesday for the Davey O'Brien Award that is given to the nation's best quarterback.

Watson completed 24-of-35 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns in Clemson’s 33-13 win over Wake Forest.

He has passed for 2944 yards with 26 touchdowns and ten interceptions (QBR of 85.8) this season. He also has rushed for 642 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

In his rookie campaign, Watson completed 67.9% of his passes for 1,466 yards (10.7 per attempt) with 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions for a tremendous quarterback rating of 188.57. Another superlative is that he had a nation's best 10.7 yards per pass attempt.

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