Offense: Deshaun Watson, #4, QB, Junior/Mike Williams, #7, WR, RS Junior: I had to go co-offensive players of the game because both Deshaun and Mike had absolutely amazing performances. Watson went 27-33 with 347 yards and 6 touchdowns. He had 1 interception but, once again, it was one of those absurd tipped interceptions that Clemson has to lead the nation in. Outside of that, Watson was money all game. Mike had 6 catches for 100 yards with 3 touchdowns. The first touchdown for the Tigers was Mike posterizing poor Jamarcus King in the endzone and then standing over him. King would later be added to Mike’s first quarter highlight reel again when Mike gave King a “piggy back” ride for a few yards as he dragged him into the endzone for another touchdown. Huge final game in Death Valley for both Watson and Williams.
Defense: Ben Boulware, #10, LB, Senior: Boulware played arguably his best game of the season against the Gamecocks. He had 7 total tackles (2.5 for loss), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble which he came so close to scooping and scoring with. Had Boulware had a touchdown in his last home game, Death Valley may have collapsed from the crowd noise. Still, a huge game for Boulware and he will be missed next season.
Special Teams: Chad Smith, #43, LB, RS Freshman: Chad Smith has been a guy that’s been a force on special teams all year, and this game was no different. He ended up with 4 total tackles on the day and laid some pretty big hits on kickoffs. It’ll be interesting to see in the next few years how Chad progresses, but for now, watching him on special teams has been very entertaining.
Moment of the Game: So many to choose from; however,I will pick Dabo calling two timeouts to let Death Valley applaud the Seniors and select Juniors one last time on offense, and then the intentional offsides to let the same happen for the defense. This was a great moment in Death Valley, made only better by the fact that it made Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks so mad. I’m guessing they don’t watch much college basketball, because it is very common for coaches to call timeouts late during blowout Senior Day games to let the crowd cheer one last time for the seniors. Dabo has adapted this practice for football and has done it before. Honestly, when I first saw Deshaun back in the game, I thought Dabo was going to let him throw one more touchdown, which would’ve been absolutely amazing. However, just letting Death Valley acknowledge these players one last time was a great ending to a great night.