Offense: Deshaun Watson, #4, QB, Junior: It would only make sense that the Fiesta Bowl’s offensive MVP would get the STS player of the game. DW4 tossed 251 yards and 1 touchdown, while leading the Tigers in rushing with 73 yards and 2 touchdowns. He had a plethora of highlights, including a beautifully thrown dime to CJ Fuller for a second quarter toucdown, and a Woody Dantsled-esque 37 yard run to set up a scoring drive. DW4 did throw 2 picks, but one of those was due to an impressive play by Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan.
Defense: Clelin Ferrell, #99, DE, RS Freshman: Clelin had a monster performance Saturday night, similar to Kevin Dodd’s explosion during last season’s playoffs. Clelin was in the backfield all night to rack up 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss en route to being named the Fiesta Bowm defensive MVP. Hopefully Clelin can deliver a similar performance against the Tide in Tampa.
Special Teams: Andy Teasdall, #32, P, RS Graduate: Teasdall had a great performance Saturday helping pin the Buckeyes deep in their own territory. He averaged 42 yards per punt and had a long of 62 yards which came off of a “rugby style” punt and took a few generous Clemson bounces.
Moment of the Game: I’ll have to go with Van Smith’s 4th quarter interception return. At first, I'll admit it, I disagreed with Van’s decision to catch the ball and then to advance it. Typically, a defensive back is taught to bat the ball down on 4th down due to the low probability of returning the ball past the original line of scrimmage. Then, DB’s also typically down interceptions in the endzone to take the touchback. But, Van must've saw something else, and he broke both those rules to make an incredible run. It would've been even better if he could've scored, but the confidence and swagger to pick that ball off and run it back was amazing. That play made me think of Deion Sanders, being able to gamble and have it turn out as a huge play.