Like a lot of people, I am eating quite a bit of crow. I was not expecting to see that massacre unfold the way it did. Granted, it was tied at halftime, but few people expected Clemson to come out and manhandle Virginia Tech the way they did in the second half. And they dominated in all phases of the game.
I really question what the game plan for Virginia Tech was all about. From the outset, it seemed like the Hokies were set on getting someone else other than David Wilson the ball. Why did they do that? He was a major reason the Hokies got there in the first place. Wilson was third in the nation in rushing, and he only carried the ball 11 times, six of those in the first half, when the game was still close. Why did they ignore him? Even Wilson himself questioned that. I don't like when players complain about not getting the ball, but he is right. He needed to touch the ball more than 14 times.
Is it too soon to start calling Sammy Watkins a Heisman candidate for next season? The term "beast" seems like a good way to describe him. Watkins had 157 all purpose yards on just 11 touches against the vaunted Virginia Tech defense. For the season, Watkins touched the ball 136 times between receiving, rushing, and returning, and amassed 2077 total yards, which is over 15 yards per touch. Watkins also scored 12 touchdowns. Oh, and he also missed a game. It's likely he will be getting a lot of accolades in the preseason next year, and his name should be there when it comes to potential Heisman candidates.
When I previewed the game, I said that it was possible that teams had figured out the Clemson defense. Either Clemson was holding something back the last few weeks, or Virginia Tech has yet to figure out this defense. They held David Wilson to just 2.9 yards per carry, and allowed just 56 yards rushing for the game (1.9 yards per carry). While the Tigers only sacked Logan Thomas twice, it seemed like they were constantly getting to him, and causing some bad throws, two of which were picked off.
One of the more amazing stats was that Clemson only had the ball for 5:36 in the third quarter, yet still scored 21 points. And they also had 11 first down in that quarter. For the game, Clemson held the ball just :20 longer than Virginia Tech, but it felt like the Tigers had the ball almost the entire game.