Backed up in the shadow of their own end-zone in a tie game with archival Florida State is where the Tigers took control of their season, ended Florida State's reign on top of the ACC and solidified itself as the number one team in the country.
"I just huddled the guys up. We were down there and I told them I loved them. But I told them this is what we came here to do—win championships. Let's make a play and do what we do...and that's what we did," Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said after the game Saturday night.
Make plays is exactly what the Clemson Tigers did Saturday night, responding with 75 yard drive that led to a 34 yard field goal by kicker Greg Huegal that gave the Tigers a 16-13 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
Watson struggled in the first half and was visibly frustrated for the first time in his young career. However, it was a halftime that something clicked for the young quarterback and set the stage for a drive that legends are made of.
"I've never seen him (Watson) play that bad," Swinney joked with the Tigers in the locker room. "I was gonna kick his ass in here at halftime. Me and him were gonna go out back, but let me tell you what this guy did—404 yards of offense for Deshaun Watson. I better than that leading, a leader with heart, guts."
More impressive than Watson 404 yards of total offense—234 of which came in the second half-- was the leadership that Watson displayed. A calm voice in the midst of the chaos, a voice that according to Tiger offensive lineman Eric Mac Lain was just what the doctor ordered at the time.
"It was just an awesome moment," Mac Lain said. "He (Watson) said, 'This is what we work all summer for. This is what championships are made of. This is what championship teams are made of.' We were just excited because it was all on us...We just came together and took it on our shoulders"
Every Heisman Trophy winner has that moment, that drive that solidified his place amongst the greats of college football and while history has yet to determine who that person will be this year there is little doubt of the moment, the drive, that Deshaun Watson staked his claim.