Sammy Watkins broke the single game record at Clemson for receiving yards against Wake Forest with 202 yards.
I know that Tajh Boyd had a career night throwing the ball, but we'll get to him in a minute.
The first helmet sticker goes to Sammy Watkins.
Why, you ask? Because Watkins finally proved all doubters wrong, showed that he isn't having a sophomore slump, and had the kind of performance have that Clemson fans have been expecting from him all season long.
He missed two games because of a suspension, and another game and a half with illness, so it has taken him a while to get in the swing of things. But now it seems that he is finally back to the Sammy that we've all come know and expect.
Coming into the Wake Forest game, Watkins had yet to wow fans with astronomical receiving stats, big plays, or even a receiving touchdown this season.
He had all three Thursday night.
The sophomore wide receiver had eight receptions for 202 yards, setting a new school record for receiving yards in a single game. Among the eight catches were a 57-yard reception in the first quarter, and a 61-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Tajh Boyd broke the record for most passing yards in a game against Wake Forest with 428 yards.
Welcome back, Sammy!
The Tigers biggest playmaker is back to being a game changer, so that makes it even harder for upcoming opponents to scheme against Chad Morris' offense.
The Clemson quarterback had one of the worst games of his career last Saturday against Virginia Tech, so how did he respond against the Demon Deacons?
Try 428 yards passing, breaking the single game school record previously held by Charlie Whitehurst, and had five passing TDs – all in the first half, and all to different receivers (Brandon Ford, Sammy Watkins, Sam Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, and Charone Peake).
Boyd was in the zone this game, and it showed!
During the offseason, I asked Coach Dabo Swinney what was the one area of the offense that needed the biggest improvement. He told me that it was Boyd's decision making process. Instead of trying to create plays, he and the coaching staff wanted his signal caller to just play within the system.
The Tigers quarterback is finally doing what his coaches expect of him, and the results are on the field and in the final box score.
The running game
Clemson's passing game dominated in this game. 433 yards through the air, five passing touchdowns, and 10.8 per attempt.
But the running game, that was a different story.
Wake Forest's defense came into this game giving up an average of 183.7 yards per game on the ground, so you think Clemson would run the ball against them effectively, right?
Nope. The Tigers only averaged 2.2 yards per carry against the Demon Deacons on 45 rushing attempts.
That has got to improve as we enter November, when conference championships are won or lost.
The Offensive Line
Prior to the Virginia Tech game, Clemson's offensive line had only allowed 10 sacks total through six games.
He challenged his O-line to play better in this game, and they somewhat did, but still allowed three sacks agains the Demon Deacons.
It doesn't matter if it's the offensive line's fault, meaning they aren't holding their blocks long enough, or it's Tajh's fault, meaning he's holding onto the ball too long in the pocket, everyone on the offensive side of the ball needs to get on the same page from this point forward and reduce the number of sacks.
Already have an account? Sign In