Clemson Embarrasses OU in Russell Athletic Bowl

Nobody, and I mean nobody, saw this result coming. Think about what the Tigers were dealing with coming into Monday night’s contest.

With Clemson starting quarterback DeShaun Watson ruled out of the bowl game due to injury, and former offensive coordinator Chad Morris departing for the head coaching job at SMU, there was not much to be expected on the offensive side of the ball for Clemson today.

Cole Stoudt, a senior who was a career backup, was called on to replace DeShaun Watson. While he has seen extensive playing time this season, Stoudt was not very impressive. Against bowl bound teams in the regular season, he posted a stat line of 0 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. Overall, he finished the year with only 6 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, and that alone left enough to make you cringe if you are a fan of the purple and orange going into a bowl game against a solid Oklahoma team.

And Then There Was This:

Clemson played their most complete game of the season on both sides of the football. The Tigers forced five Oklahoma turnovers, including three interceptions from Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight, and a rare fumble by freshman sensation at running back, Samaje Perine. Additionally, Cole Stoudt played his best game of his collegiate career, going 26-36 for 319 yards and three touchdowns to help the Tigers jump out to a 27-0 halftime lead that ultimately ended in a 40-6 romp that nobody expected.

The Bottom Line:

Dabo Swinney can flat out coach, and he thrives in his position as head coach of Clemson when his teams’ backs are against the wall. When he coaches, his players respond, and his constant success year after year should now only come as expected. Dabo’s seniors wrapped up their collegiate careers with 42 wins, which is the most wins in school history by one recruiting class. After their 34-point victory Monday night, against one of the perennial powerhouse teams of the Big 12 Conference, without their starting quarterback or offensive coordinator, how could the Tigers not have huge momentum going into 2015?

While the star of their defense, DE Vic Beasley, will be gone to the NFL next year and will have to be replaced, the Tigers are a young team on both sides of the football with an opportunity to make serious noise in the conference next season with a strong recruiting class and growing confidence coming off of this decisive bowl win.

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