Well that didn't take very long. After a post-game press conference where Clemson coach Dabo Swinney hemmed and hawed about who his starting QB would be, Clemson announced late Sunday night that Deshaun Watson will be the starting QB for the Tigers' game this weekend against UNC.
Watson, a true freshman, was 19-28 for 266 yards against FSU on Saturday. He also ran for 30 yards and scored a TD. During the FSU game he showed a poise that is rare for senior QBs let alone a true Freshman. One of the biggest concerns about Watson would be how he handles the mental parts of playing QB and he showed he can do it. His decision making was fantastic with maybe 2-3 poor throws because of his reads. His throws also had an uncanny accuracy. He was throwing the back shoulder of receivers or putting it low where either the Clemson receiver catches it or it hits the ground. Outside of the long throw to the endzone FSU didn't have any good opportunities to pick off a pass.
But perhaps the most impressive play for Watson came around midfield. He was forced from the pocket and scrambled forwards to his right. Rather than ducking his head and running, which I fully expected, he kept his head up and made an excellent throw on the move right behind the line of scrimmage. That's something you don't expect from freshman, especially when he probably would have picked up the 1st down by running.
The one thing that concerns me going forward is Watson's running. He took a beating a few times against FSU and I'm a bit worried about his durability. Hopefully Morris tries to keep Watson in the pocket more, though a lot of that depends on our oh so wonderful OL and blocking. So I'd just put money on Watson having to run a lot.