Deshaun Watson had one his best and most efficient games of the year on Friday night, going 14-of-24 for 266 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-10 rout of Boston College.
Watson’s confidence in throwing the long ball was as high as it has been all year, connecting with Mike Williams on a 55-yard strike and Jordan Leggett for a 56-yard touchdown, his longest completions of the season.
With North Carolina State’s No. 7 ranked defense coming to Death Valley on Saturday after an emotional win over Notre Dame, reminiscent of Clemson’s win in last year’s monsoon against the Irish, the second half of the season is will be no cake walk.
To fans, the script might seem similar to last season’s.
The Tigers are 6-0 (3-0 ACC) after beating a top five team in a last minute goal-line stand, ranked in the top five, with Florida State looming around the corner in two weeks … sound familiar?
Watson and Co. have been in this position before.
“We’ve been there before and we have a lot of guys that have experienced that and know what it takes,” he said. “We all felt like last year that we could have won the national championship too.”
For Watson, the will to win has not changed, but he says that although it may look the same to outsiders, this season is not the same as last year.
“For us, it’s a totally different year … it kind of seems that way but it feels different to us as a team” he said.
Last season Clemson rode the underdog train to the College Football Playoff, while this year the target is on its back, especially sitting at the top of the ACC, again.
With Florida State, Pittsburgh and the South Carolina rivalry looming on the horizon, it is all about weekly preparation for Watson.
“We know that we have to put in the work to earn it,” he said. “That comes from being consistent each and every week and taking it one game at a time.”
With the offensive line meshing, the running game finally moving and the young defense looking as strong as ever, Watson is primed and ready for a playoff run.
“It’s right there in our hands, we just have to handle business each and every week,” he said.