|Monday, September 29, 2014, 10:46 AM- -|
There were a lot of great things that came out of the 50-35 win over North Carolina Saturday night in Death Valley.
Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
View Full Profile played his best game. Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS Jr. Kicker
#36 5-10, 200
View Full Profile made all eight of his extra points and field goals. Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
#92 6-6, 230
View Full Profile punted the ball well. The defense was very good in the first half. Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS So. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 175
View Full Profile had the best game of his career. Mike WilliamsMike Williams
So. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 208
View Full Profile and Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 190
View Full Profile had big games as well.
There was also some concerns like the second half defense and the lack of a running game on offense.
However, this game was about
Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
#4 6-3, 204
View Full Profile . The true freshman threw more touchdowns passes in his first start than any other quarterback in Clemson football history. Without Watson I am not sure Clemson could have outscored North Carolina.
The stats tell a great story. Watson was 27 of 36 for 435 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.
But the stats don't tell the whole story. The real story is Watson has changed the Clemson offense and the outlook of the season. The Tigers entered the season talking about establishing the power running game with the hurry up no huddle attack. In four short weeks, Watson has turned Clemson into a vertical passing team. And its a good thing he is here because with this offensive line and these running backs I am not sure Clemson could run the ball throughout the season.
Watson showcased so many things Saturday to reiterate why we feel he is so special. In his first college start he proved the moment is not too big for him. Once again he looked poised and composed.
He showed the accuracy once again. Watson made some beautiful throws including his masterpiece on Hopper's second touchdown where he lofted a gorgeous pass to a streaking wide out despite knowing he would have to take a big hit.
The arm talent showed up again. Perhaps his most impressive throw came on Scott's touchdown pass. On this play Watson bought some time by moving around in the pocket. He thought he was going to hit another receiver but pulled the ball back and quickly re-cocked his arm and fired a rifle shot to Scott who powered his way into the endzone. I have not seen many quarterbacks who could reload that quickly.
Watson's awareness showed once again. He recognized a blitz and hit a wide open Hopper on his first touchdown pass. He recognized single coverage over and over again including Williams' second touchdown reception.
In the end Watson set the record for touchdown passes and came within 20 yards of breaking the single game passing yardage record.
His confidence shows in the aggressive nature of the vertical passing game. So does his arm strength, accuracy, athleticism, awareness and feet.
Another positive was the play of the wide receivers. Hopper had three catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Williams had six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Scott had eight catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. The trio stepped up with
Charone PeakeCharone Peake
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 204
View Full Profile out with an injury.
It was a good thing Watson was so brilliant because the running game was a non-factor. The line and tight ends have issues in the running game and the backs have not taken a step forward.
There were other issues like the second half defense which lost some of its intensity. The other major issue continues to be personnel decisions. I have no idea what the staff was thinking in putting in
Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
#18 6-4, 231
View Full Profile . At 17-0 in the first half, the decision stopped momentum. In the second half the game was not over and it almost backfired.
In summary, Watson has changed the offense and has changed the outlook on this season and the next two or three seasons.
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