When Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media Monday you could tell something was different for the Tiger signal caller.
With just 5 days until what is arguably the biggest game to ever be played at Clemson all of the attention is on the young superstar who has completed 58 of 78 passes for 641 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions this season. However, even with all of the buildup surrounding the game Watson isn't ready to say that this is the biggest game he's played in during his young campaign.
"I wouldn't say it's the biggest," Watson told the media Monday. "Probably one of the biggest that I have played in. South Carolina last year was probably the biggest, last year with the hype and having the pressure ending the 0-5 streak. For me, it's just another game. Just embrace it and have fun."
While Watson has respect for the Irish and their storied history he also understands that the name on the other jersey has no bearing on how the Tigers prepare because for this Clemson team it really is all about Clemson.
"I have much respect for Notre Dame and their program and their history and what they have been doing so far, but a name doesn't really bother me or this Clemson team. It doesn't matter who we play it's how we play," Watson said. "We are one the the best (teams) in the country and we have the right plan. So if we go out there and execute our plan and handle our business we will be fine.
"Of course it's exciting but the mindset, the mentality isn't any different. Our mindset doesn't change with out program because best is the standard so it doesn't matter who we play. The atmosphere with the fans, however is going to be nuts. They're going to be wild,crazy and loud and they're going to be energized. That is where we get our energy from and hopefully we can create some energy."
For Watson and the Clemson Tigers a win on Saturday night would mean a jump in the polls placing them squarely in the College Football Playoff discussions as well as possibly boosting Watson's Heisman campaign. However, for the Clemson quarterback a win would also mean something special for the alumni and all of those people who support the Tigers each week.
"It will be big, of course, like any other week every win is a big win for this program. Of course, for the alumni who remember the game where they played us back in the past and the respect that you will get from playing Notre Dame and beating them...it will be a big win for the program, for all of the people who have supported us."