From the GT side, I honestly don’t see anyone of interest, but I will leave plenty of room to take notes from this 3-0 team. Everyone has their eyes set on the matchup between Louisville and Clemson, but do not discount Thursday’s game.
If Clemson is going to make it back to the National Championship Game, then they have to win in Atlanta, which they have yet to do since 2003. For those kids I mentioned that I’ll be watching, we’ll see if they can keep their focus on Georgia Tech, or if they are thinking about Louisville. In my opinion, I think Coach Dabo Swinney is very capable to keep his focus on the Yellow Jackets.
In my last article I wrote about the Florida State/Louisville game, and at end of the first half, I was surprised with how Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals put a beating on the Noles at the first half. At the end of the first half in this one, I’m not surprised about the score, but I am surprised how Deshaun Watson is playing.
He’s not exactly lighting up the stat sheet, but he is making some good decisions. His one mistake came on a miscommunication between Watson and Mike Williams. Williams was running an out route and Watson made a throw as though it was supposed to be a curl, and threw to the defender instead.
Luckily for the Tigers, it was fumbled into the end zone, and turned into a safety. At the end of the first half, I have been impressed with Ray-Ray McCloud. He has played well as a receiving back, and has made some great catches in traffic. McCloud also turned his sole carry into a 17 yard gain.
The second half wasn’t very entertaining if you like strong offense. The Clemson defense played well the entire game, but their offense looked flat in the second half. I talked about in my intro if this Clemson team was going to be focused, the offense seemed to move on to next weeks game.
At one point during a team huddle, Watson was more focused on the skycam than what Coach Swinney was saying. Had it not been for strong defense by this rather young Clemson defense, this game could have been a nightmare for the Tigers.
My players of the game go out to Ray-Ray McCloud, Dorian O’Daniel, and Deshaun Watson. McCloud was great all night and seemed to play the role of security blanket for Watson all game.
Dorian O’Daniel had a great night, seemed to be not only active in the pass defense, but defended the option like he was in the huddle when they called the option. He had a missed assignment on the drive the Georgia Tech scored, like he over pursued on a running play.
Deshaun Watson had a great game, decision-making wise, however showed inconsistencies in the passing game, missing wide open receivers. A good game for the Tigers to finally go into Atlanta a get a win, but if this Clemson team wants to stay in the talks for a national title, they’re going to have to play four quarters of football on both sides next week against Louisville.
Lamar Jackson is an exceptional athlete, and that Cardinals defense is no slouch either. All in all this was a decent game for the Tigers, and I can’t wait for their matchup against an ACC foe, Louisville.