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Player Grades: Clemson at Syracuse

Clemson survives a scare in the Carrier Dome and comes away with a 37-27 victory. See who did what right here!

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports


Deshaun Watson, QB, Sophomore, A+: Despite not getting the best protection on Saturday, Watson balled out with 360 yards passing, 2 passing TD's, 105 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. He came very close to breaking open a long touchdown run, but stumbled after nearly losing his handle on the ball and fell. He also tossed one pick. Deshaun was a big reason to why this team came away from Syracuse with the win.

Charone Peake, WR, Senior, A+: Peake was a beast Saturday. He pulled in 7 catches 120 yards and had a nice touchdown catch. Peake has really come through for the Tigers with the absence of Mike Williams this season, and it showed again Saturday. It's hard to believe Saturday will be his final game in the Valley, but hopefully his time with the Tigers will end with a National Title.


Mackensie Alexander, CB, RS Sophomore, B-: Mackensie has been one of my favorite players to watch this season and has become one of the best corner's in the nation. Saturday, however, he had a slight off day on Saturday. He wasn't the only one on the defense to be off, though. He got burned on a couple of passes and was saved on some of those by Zach Mahoney overthrowing the receiver. Hopefully Mackensie will be back on point for the next three games and the postseason.

Shaq Lawson, DE, Junior, A: In a less than dominant day for Clemson, Shaq led the team in tackles for loss with 3. He also had a sack and a total of 4 tackles, all solo. Lawson should continue his success in opposing teams backfield as Clemson goes on this final stretch of the year.

Special Teams

Greg Huegel, K, Freshman, A+: With Clemson's offense unable to find the end zone from the end of the 2nd quarter and on, Huegel came through huge for the Tigers hitting 3 field goals, including 2 fourth quarter kicks to help keep the Orangemen (yes, I'm still calling them the Orangemen darn it) at arms length. He also his a late 4th quarter one that would've given Clemson a 13 point win, but Syracuse jumped offsides, giving Clemson a first down and allowing Watson to take a few knees to end the game.