After Clemson lost its first game of the season, many people were left confused. Expectations were high for the Tigers who have not lost at home since 2013, but the players and coaches reminded people that it is hard to be perfect in college football. After taking some time to analyze the film from Clemson’s 43-42 loss against Pittsburgh this past Saturday, co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott, quarterback Deshaun Watson and others addressed the media as the Tigers prepare to take on Wake Forest on the road.
Here is what we heard:
While Clemson may have lost the game, Scott defended Watson by saying he did a lot of things right in the game, despite some of the costly mistakes.
“That’s a tough defense to play in what they do defensively, and you have to have a great decision maker out there, and I thought he made some great decisions. There were 95 plays, and we’re talking about four out of 95 plays. Just unfortunately the couple that he made mistakes on were very costly,” Scott said.
“That’s the shame of it, because you go back and watch the video, there were four or five throws he made where I go that’s an NFL throw right there. So yes, there are some negatives he’s got to clean up, but there are a lot more positives than negatives.”
Scott still has all the confidence in the world that Watson will grow from last Saturday’s game.
“There’s a great chance he’s going to go down as the best quarterback in the history of our football program, so we’ve got a lot of confidence in him,” the Clemson coach said. “He’s a guy that will learn and has learned, and I promise you there’s no one that will critique himself and learn better than him.”
Tight end Jordan Leggett took the blame for one of Watson’s end zone interceptions on Monday.
“It was just a little play-action out the back door, and I got too deep on my route and the linebacker was able to undercut me,” Leggett said.
He continued on to say the loss might help refocus the team and drive them to fight harder for the remainder of the season.
“I feel like that game was good for us. It was a reality check. It shows we are beatable,” Leggett said. “Having that loss motivates us. That locker room was terrible.”
Saturday came with the defeat of three unbeaten teams in the top four including Clemson. Watson said he trusts that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.
“It could be a blessing in disguise this past weekend,” Watson said. “We are just going to continue to do what we do and focus on what we can control and let everything else take care of itself.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Clemson is also using the loss to completely dial in to every remaining task.
“I think we have to get in the film room and look over the things that we can correct,” defensive back Ryan Carter said. “We definitely did not play our best football on Saturday as far as the defense goes. I just feel like they are definitely easy things we can correct. It is going to take complete focus this week, regroup and get back to the basics. I just feel like if we can lock in this week and focus on what we need to do, then we will be back defensively.”