Clemson had to put its victory over Louisville in the rear view mirror in preparation for a short week. The third-ranked Tigers will now make the trek to take on Boston College for a Friday matchup in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Here is what we heard:
Although the team is in the midst of preparing for their next opponent of the season, quarterback Deshaun Watson said Saturday’s win will be a memory he will hold close.
“It felt like a movie,” Watson said. “It’s one of the memories, not just for the players, but for the fans and the university. We will never forget.”
Wide receiver Deon Cain said it will not be hard to refocus his attention towards Boston College, but he agreed with Watson that the win in Death Valley was a special one.
“It was unreal. It was really unreal. The fans were crazy out there, just the atmosphere out there was crazy. It brings a lot of energy to me just to perform out there in a higher stage,” Cain said. “I know for my teammates it was great because everyone was watching and we had to execute and let everyone know that we are still here and that Clemson is still going to remain on top.
“It was an unreal experience. Deshaun was kinda right, it kind of was a movie with the ups and downs, but it was fun at the end of the day.”
Even though the atmosphere and the nature of the win are huge factors that make the victory over Louisville so special, some key strides were made on the offense that showed the heart and determination of the talented unit.
For the first time in his career, Watson was asked to lead a game-winning drive, which he did with his game-winning 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Leggett. He was awarded as the ACC Offensive Back of the Week on Monday.
“We just went down and do what we do. During the game we scored in 25 seconds twice so we knew we could score in seven minutes. It was just about everyone doing their job and executing. That’s what did,” Watson said. “We just told each other let’s be great and let’s allow this moment to be special and that’s what we did.”
The running game also broke loose on Saturday when Wayne Gallman rushed for 110 of Clemson’s 201 rushing yards.
“We went back to the basics of the main runs we usually have and the offensive line is focusing on who they have and focusing on making the best blocks that they can instead of worrying about everything else,” Gallman said.
The offensive line worked together to make the blocks necessary for Gallman to average the most yards per carry he’s had all season at 6.9. Center Jay Guillermo was honored as the ACC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week.
“We really just played physical,” Offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder said. “We knew what we were capable of. We just kind of had to bring it out.”
But with a full season of ACC play ahead, co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott knows that Clemson will be targeted.
“We now understand what it’s like to be the hunted instead of the hunter,” Elliott said.