College Football Playoff: Defending the Clemson Tigers

Does any team in college football survive more close calls than Clemson?

It’s been a phenomenal two years for the Clemson Tigers. More often than not, they’ve played in games with huge importance. On more than one occasion, they’ve had to come up with a big play or a timely stop, and for whatever reason, they typically get it done. Twice in two years, it hasn’t gone their way. They lost last year in the College Football Playoff’s final game to you know who, and they lost a hard fought game this season to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

The latter game is further evidence of the dichotomy of Clemson and gives life to a couple of questions. Which team will show up against the Ohio State Buckeyes? Will it be a newer version of the team that pushed the Alabama Crimson Tide to the brink? Will it be the turnover machine we’ve seen from time to time? This is a team that should have two losses. Fortunately for them, a last-second field goal attempt by the NC State Wolfpack went awry.

Believe it or not, we’ve said a mouthful and haven’t mentioned their energetic coach or the gift they’ve been given at quarterback. Head coach Dabo Swinney has a personality that makes recruiting seem easy. The roster he’s put together for another run is loaded, and it begins with his signal caller. Stories of their quarterback taking a step back in his production need to be put to bed.

Deshaun Watson has thrown 37 touchdowns in 2016 as opposed to the 35 he threw in 2015. The Tigers, thanks to recruiting, are balanced enough on offense to give any defense fits and talented enough defensively to keep them in games. Don’t forget that this year, they’ll be bringing their stud receiver, Mike Williams, to the party. Injuries shut his season down in 2015, and still, the Tigers came within inches of a national championship.

Forget what you’ve heard. Some of the claims that last year’s version of the Tigers were better are warranted. This year’s version of the Tigers isn’t too shabby either though. If they’re underestimated, the team doing so might find themselves down by 14 before they know it.

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