Watson leads Clemson to 41-0 victory
Oct. 04, 2014
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson freshman Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Clemson posted its first shutout in six years, defeating North Carolina State 41-0 on Saturday.
Watson continued his stellar play since taking over as starting quarterback, following a school-record six TD passes against North Carolina last week by leading the Tigers (3-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a 31-0 lead over the Wolfpack (4-2, 0-2) by halftime.
North Carolina State entered as the ACC's top offense, averaging 505 yards a game. But the Wolfpack managed just 156 yards in losing their 10th straight league game.
Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley tied the school mark with his 28th career sack, joining former NFL standouts Michael Dean Perry and the late Gaines Adams atop the Tigers' list.
Clemson's last shutout was a 54-0 win over South Carolina State. The last time the Tigers blanked an ACC opponent was 1998 in a 23-0 win over Maryland.
North Carolina State and quarterback Jacoby Brissett had come off a near-miss loss to top-ranked Florida State where they put up 520 yards. Clemson defense had none of that at Death Valley, holding the Wolfpack to 364 fewer yards and Brissett to 4 of 18 passing for 35 yards.
Brissett also had two of the Wolfpack's three fumbles, both leading to Clemson touchdowns.
Watson finished 17 of 29 for 267 yards. He spent most of the second half on the bench with the game well in hand.
He threw for a Clemson record six TDs a week ago in his first-ever start, a 50-35 win over North Carolina and proved that wasn't a one-time fluke.
Watson arched a pretty pass to Mike Williams for a 56-yard touchdown on Clemson's opening drive and found Williams again a series later for a second score. This time, Watson led Williams perfectly between two Wolfpack defenders for a 31-yard scoring pass and a 14-0 lead.
Watson showed his versatility on Clemson's third series. He had a shifty, cutting 17-yard run to break into North Carolina State territory. Eight plays later, he ended the drive with a 5-yard run around the right side, leaping over Wolfpack cornerback Jack Tocho on his way to the end zone.
Watson added some flash, mimicking the Superman chest swipe after his score.
Watson led the Tigers to a fourth consecutive TD drive, this time cashing in after Clemson's defense forced Brissett to fumble in North Carolina State's redzone.
Clemson's freshman confidently ran through the Wolfpack line for a 3-yard score and a 28-0 lead.
North Carolina State's Brissett, the Florida transfer, was expected to match Watson pass for pass and score for score. Instead, the Tigers defense kept him and the Wolfpack off stride throughout the opening half.
Brissett was 3 of 12 passing for 27 yards. North Carolina State managed only 38 yards of offense and didn't pick up its initial first down until midway through the second quarter.
The Wolfpack had a chance to gain some momentum heading into half, advancing to the Clemson 2 in the final seconds. But Brissett was chased from the pocket and threw into the stands as time expired with Clemson ahead 31-0.