Welcome to the another edition of LET US DELIGHT IN, a weekly feature in which we, well, delight in the performance of a particular football player from the previous weekend. This week, we are delighting in the performance of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Oh, right, that guy.
Watson came into 2015 with some deserved Heisman run, but an injury history last year and a so-so start to the 2015 season sort of dropped him off some people's radars, as much as the hyper-talented quarterback of a national title contender can drop of someone's radar, anyway. I don't think that's going to be an issue anymore, as the Tigers are rolling at 8-0 and Watson absolutely set NC State on fire en route to a 56-41 win in Raleigh.
The numbers are exquisite: 23-30 (76.7%) for 383 yards, five touchdown passes, zero picks, and 54 rushing yards and another touchdown on the ground. This was by far his best game of the season, as he somehow had not thrown more than three touchdown passes in a game this season before Saturday.
You may scoff at the opponent, but NC State is no joke. On defense specifically, they came into Saturday ranked 29th in Defensive S&P+. After Watson and the Tigers touched them up to the tune of 623 total yards, they slid down to 37th. And to top it off, he made an NC State coach so mad that he felt compelled to shove Watson after he ran out of bounds.
Please make sure to empty your diaper before the next game, coach.
Watson is averaging 7.82 yards per play every time he throws the ball or takes it on a keeper. He's the key cog in one of the country's best offenses, and Clemson just so happens to be one of the few teams in the country that's actually good at both offense and defense. Watson doesn't have a ton to do with the defense being good, but that doesn't make the previous sentence not true.
If this game represents Watson hitting the clutch and throwing this thing into fifth, then his timing couldn't be better. Florida State comes up to Death Valley this Saturday, and the game may have some postseason implications. Should Watson play like someone glued his sliders to 100, it's going to be hard for Florida State to keep up, even if they still have some devil magic left. And judging by the resurgence of Jimbo Fisher's hair, they do.