This is the end of my Top Ten Returning Quarterback List and our number one quarterback is…
#1 Clemson University’s Deshaun Watson- The most electrifying quarterback in all of college football on one of the most polarizing teams in the nation right now. Through his first two years as a starter, he has only lost two games. And those two opponents (2014 FSU and 2015 Alabama) won the National Championship. Each also had a player who won the Heisman. This year as a starter, Deshaun Watson gained over 5000 yards in the air and on the ground.
He threw for 4104 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. On the ground, he ran for 1105 yards and ran the ball into the endzone for 12 touchdowns. He is a true dual quarterback. He will kill a defense with his arm and his legs. He makes the defense sweat every snap because they know they have to play their best or they can get torched. Let’s good back as I relive some of my favorite Watson games from the 2015 season.
Let’s start with his matchup against NC State on the road. Deshaun lit the Wolfpack defense up the whole game. He passed for a regular season high of 383 yards on 76.7 % passing, threw for five touchdowns, no interceptions, and he also had 54 yards on the ground with one rushing score. The Tigers won the game 56-41. Watson also had his best passer rating of the season against NC State, 238.9. Just another ACC win under his belt. But the next game, I discuss is going to be against a SEC road team.
This game is very dear to my heart since I live in the great state of South Carolina. Every Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Clemson Tigers play the South Carolina Gamecocks. It is even more complicated because I am student at South Carolina, but I am a Clemson fan and I sat in the South Carolina student section. You can say I was in enemy territory. Coming into this game, I thought Clemson would run all over the Gamecocks this year but I was wrong.
The game was actually close. The final score was 37-32. Deshaun Watson ripped the Gamecock defense up for the second time is as many games. He went 20-27 on his passes, threw for 279 yards and one passing touchdown. He did most of his scoring on the ground. He scored three touchdowns and he rushed for 114 yards on the ground. For fans like me, I am glad we have another firm imprint on this rivalry.
Deshaun Watson played one of his biggest games on the biggest stage, the National Championship game against Alabama. Even though, the Tigers did not win the game Deshaun Watson tore up the Alabama defense. After the game, Bama coach Nick Saban said he needed the onside kick basically because his defense could not stop Watson.
Many quarterbacks cannot breakdown a Nick Saban defense like he did in Arizona. He threw for a career high 405 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He also picked up 73 yards on the ground and had an adjusted QBR of 93 in the championship game. Watson played his best game of the season when it mattered most and that is all a team and a fanbase can ask for from their quarterback. This game, despite the loss, launched Watson 2016 Heisman candidacy.
Watson and Clemson Tigers are poised to go back to the National Championship in 2016 season. They are almost a lock for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff, but their whole season is depended on how far Watson will take the Tigers. Watson, individually, can win every single offensive award possible for a quarterback, but all Watson wants is a win against South Carolina, an ACC championship win, and two straight College Football Playoff wins.
Terrance’s Other Top Ten Returning Quarterbacks
#10- DeShone Kizer
#9- Luke Falk
#8- Josh Rosen
#7- Greg Ward Jr.
#6- Brad Kaaya
#5- Joshua Dobbs
#4- Chad Kelly
#3- J.T. Barrett
#2- Baker Mayfield
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