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Instant Reaction: Clemson Tigers ACC Champs and Playoff Bound

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We going to the playoff (and NY)...
We going to the playoff (and NY)...
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

We are the only undefeated team in college football.

We are the only team to defeat 3 top ten teams.

We played a conference championship against a top ten team that deserved to be there (i.e. could throw a forward pass).

We have the most valuable player in the country at QB in Deshaun Watson.

We should be the number one seed in the college football playoff.

Yep, that guy wasn't offsides and the ref blew the call. If I was a UNC fan I would be livid too. I might even say that the ref was probably on the take. You know what--for once I am happy to be on the receiving side. I'm happy to not be scrambling from behind worrying about a phantom holding call or whatever(can't believe not one call was made against UNC O-line all game). I understand that.

Hearing it from UNC fans is rich though. You know, the whole cheating scandal. I've read that the call should have been illegal formation rather than offsides and UNC didn't have enough men on the right side of the kicker. Still, your tears are delicious, just like the wine and cheese.

But don't take anything away from Deshaun Watson. His receivers were dropping balls, Gallman getting stuffed, special teams chaos, but through it all he was unflappable. This team deserves to be in the playoff. In the words of Dabo--we are the Supreme Pizza.

But really UNC if you want someone to blame--blame your coach. Fedora made a couple questionable calls--going for two early (would have been a single TD game) and the real dumb call--the fake punt. That fake punt completely changed the momentum of the game and finally gave us a short field. I understand he is trying to change the momentum, but the call that early reeks of desperation.

Offense

Deshaun Watson.

Wayne Gallman got on track and wore the Tar Heels defensive line down. Great job catching the ball as well. Offensive line deserves credit for that too--no major penalties and only some snap problems from Jay, but other than that it was a winning effort. Crowder is still dealing with the turf toe and was in and out.

Wide receivers dropped some easy balls. Hopper, Thompson and Scott missed some easy ones. Renfrow had some trouble getting open and didn't have a great game. Cain didn't have a good night with the multiple false start penalties. Just inexperience showing through. Peake had some nice first downs and ran through some arm tackles (one was a key third down conversion.

Defense

Shaq Lawson came to play tonight. He was an absolute monster who would not be denied. Causing fumbles and getting pressure. Fedora didn't adjust quickly enough and go max protect to help Williams. Williams was absolutely rattled. Credit to Kevin Dodd as well. Williams does not normally play that bad. He doesn't airmail balls to guys in the flat like that.

The play of the game for me though was the interception by Cordrea Tankersley. Goodson gets just enough of a deflection to allow Tank to pluck the ball away from Davis. We then drove the length of the field and played with a considerable lead the rest of the game. If they score on that play then UNC is playing with a ton of confidence.

TJ Green targeting was the correct call and really hurt our defense. Got to give the defensive staff credit though for adjusting and helping Van Smith step in. We ended up playing more dime with Kearse blitzing and playing closer to the line. Apart from the first three plays of the game Boulware came through with a seriously hurt shoulder. Credit to him.

Can we learn to close out a game? What was that patty-cake play Kearse made to Switzer at the end?? I guess we have to live with the defensive lapses and chalk it up to a lack of depth, but guys play tentative.

Elijah Hood is just a good football player and we did a great job of bottling him up. I actually think they went away from the running game too quickly and needed to be more balanced.

Defense was dominant in the first half and played well in the second half when you consider Green was gone.

Special Teams

Where to begin? Andy T must have gotten a little extra juiced before the game because he blew that play. He was correct that the play to do a rugby punt to the right side was getting blown up so he turned and then rather than rugby kick it to the left he inexplicably starting running. That is my take. He redeemed himself a bit with a nice final punt.

All the penalties, especially on Mark Fields at the end, are correctable but a silly pattern. The false starts, penalties, etc. Just a comedy of errors yet again. But we didn't turn the ball over though and didn't give up a TD. Just going to flush it all.

Why am I even writing this?? We just won the ACC Championship and made it to the playoff. USC just hired Muschamp after being rejected by about half of all of the college football coaches in America.

We won. Its been a great ride and no one in the nation is undefeated. I'm going to go eat a slice of pizza.

Thanks everybody, wouldn't have wanted to do this with a nicer bunch of people!