Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year


by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
<span style=Photo by Joshua S. Kelly / USATODAY">
Photo by Joshua S. Kelly / USATODAY

If North Carolina hopes to stop Clemson’s offense Saturday night, it will start with slowing down dynamic sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, something they didn’t do last season.

The Tigers and Tar Heels played in Death Valley in late September last season in Watson’s first-ever collegiate start. Watson torched the Heels that day, completing 27 of 36 passes for 435 yards, six scores and one interception. The six touchdown passes set a Clemson record.

Watson is having a stellar year in 2015 and is a finalist for every major award in the country and will likely be one of the finalists for the trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Watson, who has led the Tigers to a 12-0 record, No. 1 ranking and spot in the ACC championship game Saturday, leads all conference players with 331.6 total yards per game and has scored 36 total touchdowns. He tops the league in passing yardage (3,223), touchdown passes (27) and passing efficiency rating (161.9) and Wednesday was named the ACC Player of the Year.

UNC linebacker Shakeel Rashad said most teams haven’t found an answer for Watson this season.

“Oh, that's a good question. It's an answer that a lot of people haven't found the answer for this year,” Rashad said earlier this week. “In our preparation, we're going to have to find a way to do exactly that on Monday when we're just getting into the film, really, I don't think we have an answer for it yet. But hopefully by Saturday we can find a way to get it done.”

Rashad said the Heels not only have to stop the pass but stop Watson’s running ability.

“Yeah, that's going to be a huge part of the game. Obviously, he can throw the ball and he runs it really well too,” he said. “So you have to be really disciplined in everything you do. If you're in coverage, you have to be very disciplined in covering your guy and keeping your eyes on your guy. Because that's your guy, and if you're not in coverage, he can throw it and gas you for a pass. But if you're a pass-rusher, and your responsibility is keeping an eye on him, you have to make sure you do that as well because when everybody's covered and nobody is keeping an eye on him, he will take off and run and he can get you that way too.”

However, Watson isn’t the only playmaker on the field.

“Those guys have play makers all over the field. A lot of people get caught up in just, you know, when you watch the game obviously they have Deshaun Watson, and he's a great football player,” Rashad said. “But people playing against the team won't forget this, but people just watching on the outside looking in will forget that they have play makers all over the field, and that's what makes it so hard to stop their offense.

“If it was just a quarterback, you can scheme that and find a way to stop it. But when you've got a great quarterback and a lot of great ballplayers around him, it's tough. Because those guys do a great job of getting the ball in the play makers' hands and they've got them all over the field and taking care of the football, too.”

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said Watson compares favorably to his own quarterback, Marquise Williams.

“You know, I guess Deshaun, comparing him to Marquise, he's a guy that he can make every throw there is. He looks like he's very poised for a young guy, for a sophomore. Nothing rattles him. He runs the ball extremely well. You know, and I would say 'Quise can do all of those things, too. Probably the only difference, 'Quise may be a little thicker, and 'Quise is older. I don't know, maybe he just has more -- maybe more experience, that's all.”

Fedora said the Heels will have to have someone spy on Watson at all times.

“Well, it usually means defensively you've got to have somebody with their eyes on the quarterback all the time,” Fedora said. “You can't just put everybody into coverage because he's going to extend plays and make plays with his legs, and then you're going to have breakdowns in coverage and he's going to hit big plays on you. You've got to have people with eyes on him, and you've got to be able to -- when you do bring pressure, you've got to get to him, and you've got to get him on the ground, because if not, he's going to have an opportunity to make big plays.”

Fedora was asked about Watson’s success against North Carolina last season and he answered that the Heels are a different team this time around.

“Well, we'll look at it from a defensive standpoint. I don't know that we'll look at it as much as -- we'll look at all the games that they've played this year, but from an offensive standpoint we'll look at it because it's pretty much the same offense, the same offensive philosophy, same offensive staff,” he said. “Yes, he did, he torched us for six touchdowns last year, probably had the best game of his career going into that first game. But that was the 2014 team, and we're a different football team. I can promise you that.”

Rate this Story:
47 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 33) Author
spacer New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
TigerNet News
spacer So is Clemson.***
sam84
spacer Offensively, Clemson is significantly better***
BigCUFan®
spacer But Fedora
BuzzPaw
spacer Alliteration aside, Fuch Fedora....***
ClemsonMike830
spacer Watson isn't a freshman this year either.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer GHop had a career day against them
TaylorTiger
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
Smiling Tiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
lfatboy®
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
icebucket
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
Memphis Tiger®
spacer Kinda odd that the player gives the coach speak answers and the hat is more swagger
ChemETiger97
spacer Their biggest difference is their d led by Chizik ex Auburn
tigeron®
spacer I hope so Larry because your fans paid good money for this--
under11par®
spacer Re: I hope so Larry because your fans paid good money for this--
Whitehurst74®
spacer They seem lost.
imacutiger12
spacer Re: They seem lost.
Clemsotherson41
spacer Maybe it'll be a super spy, like 007.
ChemETiger97
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
I bleed orange
spacer UNC is a goal line INT from being undefeated. We've been turning over too much. It will tough***
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer UNC is "playing FSU & ND" away from having 3 losses.
apextiger®
spacer Unless we have changed for the worse this is a moot point.
cutigersJD
spacer Re: Unless we have changed for the worse this is a moot point.
STUBRV
spacer Geez Loweez!
cut75
spacer Re: Geez Loweez!
Uncle Bill®
spacer Why doesn't Fedora wear a fedora? Seems like the most
76er®
spacer A guy to spy Watson? That'd work if..
tigersincepell®
spacer Never understood the spy thing...
BaltimoreTiger®
spacer If that's true, and they have a player spying on Watson the
colberttiger
spacer Match-ups
TeachingTiger13®
spacer Our skill players are better on both sides
oriyah10
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
MaukaTiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Fedora says Tar Heels are a different team than one Watson torched last year
arnemann
spacer Living rent free in his brain housing group!*******
TigerLinks
WATCH: Clemson Hype video "Extravagant Dreams" featuring Brian Dawkins
WATCH: Clemson Hype video "Extravagant Dreams" featuring Brian Dawkins
Tajh Boyd weighs in on Clemson QB battle
Tajh Boyd weighs in on Clemson QB battle
Clemson's T-shirt slogan for 2018: Accept The Challenge
Clemson's T-shirt slogan for 2018: Accept The Challenge
Tigers collect three more Watch List selections
Tigers collect three more Watch List selections
Scrimmage Insider: Defense better, but QBs missing too many zip code throws
Scrimmage Insider: Defense better, but QBs missing too many zip code throws
Five Clemson commits make new Rivals top-100
Five Clemson commits make new Rivals top-100
WATCH: Swinney on Brett Favre, Ohio State, Vegas Odds, Mike Williams
WATCH: Swinney on Brett Favre, Ohio State, Vegas Odds, Mike Williams
WATCH: David Hood's Tuesday Clemson scrimmage wrap
WATCH: David Hood's Tuesday Clemson scrimmage wrap
WATCH: Dabo Swinney's Tuesday scrimmage report
WATCH: Dabo Swinney's Tuesday scrimmage report
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest
Clemson Gear
Clemson Gear