Though the Auburn game did not wrap up until about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson had already watched it a couple of times by Monday morning.
Watson, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception, said from a personal standpoint he thought his performance was solid in No. 2 Clemson’s 19-13 win over Auburn. He said he missed on a couple of throws and he had a couple balls in jeopardy, but they were all things that can be fixed and will be fixed when they play Troy this Saturday in Death Valley.
Overall, Watson thought the offense did a pretty a pretty good job for the most part and Auburn’s defense deserves a lot more credit than it has been getting. However, the All-American quarterback took the full blame for the offense’s hiccups, especially when it came to the tempo of the offense.
“The tempo could have been better and that starts with me,” Watson said. “I take responsibility for that as the guy who drives the team and drives the offense. I have to make sure everyone is getting set and everyone is focused on that play at the moment and being successful … There are things that can be fixed and will be fixed this week and that is what we are going to aim for.”
When it comes to improving the tempo, Watson said he needs to have more of sense of urgency when it comes to getting the offense lined up and ready for the next play.
“You have to get everyone lined up quickly and get their eyes to the sideline, getting the play,” he said. “Everyone has to communicate and be on the same page. Everyone has to line up as fast as we can. We want to be a tempo, fast offense. Everyone has to have that and it starts with me with just encouraging the guys, getting the play in and calling the right play and seeing what the defense is doing and being on the same page.”
Speaking of being on the same page, Watson said that was exactly the case when he threw a third-quarter interception following a Jadar Johnson interception a few plays earlier to end an Auburn drive.
Watson threw a pass down the left sideline from his own 12, but wide receiver Ray Ray McCloud read something different and the pass sailed over McCloud’s head. Auburn’s Joshua Holsey made a diving catch for the interception at the Clemson 35.
“That was just miscommunication with me and my receiver. Things happen like that. The corner made a heck of a play, though,” Watson said. “He went out and dove for the ball and caught the ball so nothing major. Those are things we will correct, and the corner, you have to give him credit for making that play.”
Watson said he wasn’t surprised Auburn played a lot of man coverage or by the way they played in the secondary.
“We knew they were going to play man and play a lot of press on the outside and make us earn the throws and earn the catches. Auburn is a great team,” he said. “They have a lot of skill guys and a lot of talent on that team and they came out really confident and ready to play. We knew what we were up for. We were up for the task and the challenge and we overcame it … Those guys came out ready to play and we respect that. You have to give them a lot of credit for handling their own and playing so well.”