When Deshaun Watson plays complete games against Georgia Tech, he plays pretty well.
The junior from Gainesville—less than an hour from the Tech campus—played a nearly flawless first half, pacing third-ranked Clemson’s relentless attack to 347 yards and 23 points before halftime en route to a 26-7 victory in Atlanta more than a dozen years in the making. Watson’s homecoming performance was redemptive, as a serious knee injury forced him from the game two years ago in his first appearance against the Yellow Jackets.
Watson completed 32 of 48 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns, both coming before the half. He hit Mike Williams on a fade from four yards out to cap a sensational nine-play, 75-yard drive to begin the game. On the drive, Watson was perfect on five pass attempts for 46 yards. On the Tigers’ final drive, he found Jordan Leggett on a post to the back of the end zone from nine yards away with four seconds remaining before the half.
In addition to his prowess through the air, Watson was able to move the ball at times on the ground. The Georgia native ran the ball 12 times for 36 yards, giving him 340 yards of offense for the game. Most importantly, his final performance in Bobby Dodd Stadium lasted all four quarters—a far cry from the disappointment he experienced two seasons ago.
Adding to the satisfaction was a comfortable Clemson win, moving the Tigers to 4-0 and Watson one more notch closer to achieving his goals for the 2016 season.