Clemson entered Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech as the favorite and with high hopes for a strong finish to the season. At 7-2 and 6-1 in the ACC, the Tigers were thinking a three game winning streak, another 10 win regular season, and with a little help from someone, maybe even a share of the Atlantic Division title in the ACC. And of course, a spot in the Orange Bowl.
All of that went out the window the minute quarterback Deshaun Watson made a cut at the Georgia Tech 21 yard line late in the first quarter.
The Tigers appeared to be on their way to a 10-0 lead. Instead, Watson was on his way to the locker room, and three plays later Jamal Golden was on his way to the end zone with a pick six of Cole Stoudt that changed the direction of the game. Throw in another pick six and a third Stoudt interception that led to a field goal, and those 17 points were too much for the weakened Clemson offense to overcome.
Watson is likely out for the rest of the season. The belief is he has a torn ACL though that wasn’t confirmed by Dabo Swinney after the game. The Tigers will now have to rally behind a shaken Stoudt, or possibly Nick Schussler who came on in late in the third quarter and completed all four of his pass attempts, if they are to do the one thing that can salvage the season….beat USC in two weeks at Death Valley.
Without Watson, the Tigers were held to a season’s low 190 total yards. And without Watson, appears to be stuck in the mud.
Here’s what some of the Tigers were saying after Saturday’s 5th straight loss in Atlanta: