So that’s what Clemson looks like when they play a complete game. It was was an absolute thrashing 56-7 by Clemson over their arch-rival South Carolina Saturday night. Deshaun Watson looked like his Alabama National Championship version self throwing for 6 TDS and 347 yards. Now let’s not kid ourselves South Carolina is not a good team, but they had won 4 of their last 5 games.
They had been competitive in every one of their losses. Clemson had struggled against similar type teams this season. On Saturday night, Clemson looked ACCCG and Playoff ready. It was a historic beating of the Gamecocks. It was 21-0 after 1 quarter and 35-0 at the Half. It was a game that looked more like a scrimmage than an actual game. The Tigers outgained the Gamecocks by nearly 400 yards.
That’s what an elite team should do to an inferior one. South Carolina never had a chance.
What should be encouraging to Clemson fans is that the Tigers are starting to be able to run the ball. Wayne Gallman had 112 yards on the ground and the Tigers had 250 yards rushing as a team. When there is balance on offense, Clemson becomes very difficult to stop. They’ll need this as they face a much more equipped Virginia Tech team in the ACCCG. The Hokies have the kind of offense, and enough playmakers to cause the Tigers issues. The Gamecocks are a fairly vanilla offensive team.
That said the Tigers seem to be playing their best most consistent football of the season. Following a wake up call loss to Pittsburgh, Clemson beat two bowl bound teams Wake Forest and South Carolina by a combined 91-20. Clemson built huge leads early in those games and cruised the rest of the way.
The Tigers certainly look like a different than a month ago. We’ll find out next Saturday if Clemson’s transition to playoff caliber team is complete.