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Clemson QB Deshaun Watson - Photo via Grant Halverson - Getty Images

College Football Playoff Preview: The Clemson Tigers

This time, we go back two years ago with the Clemson Tigers.

Defending ACC Atlantic Division Co-Champs and 11-2 after a Chic-Fil-A Bowl win.  If could ever beat Florida State they could win their ACC division and likely the conference.

It was another rough outing against the Seminoles.  Clemson entered the game ranked eighth  in the nation, 6-0 and playing in Death Valley against redshirt-freshman and eventual Heisman Winner, Jameis Winston. It looked like a hard battle for the young FSU QB, until the game started.

A very lopsided game was the result.  A final of 51-14 for Florida State.  Clemson could not get a shot at the ACC title as Florida State went unbeaten. The Tigers did win the 2013 Orange Bowl against Ohio State that year, 40-35.

In 2014; with no more Tahj Boyd, Clemson had to find a QB.  Without a proven starter, Clemson traveled to Tallahassee.  Sean Maguire started in place of the suspended Jameis Winston.  A boring, low scoring game went to OT and Clemson fell short again 23-17.

Season in a Snapshot

Going in to 2015, Clemson finally had a QB they could rely on in Dashaun Watson.  With star defensive end Vic Beasley gone, the question was defense.  After a stormy 24-22 win over the Fighting Irish, the question was answered.  They were/are good enough.

A few weeks later would come the ultimate test.  Florida State entered with one loss, Clemson again unbeaten, but the Tigers finally break through 23-13, and make it to the ACC championship game.

Facing off against a one loss North Carolina, Clemson survived over the surprisingly offensive minded Tar Heel’s 45-37.  The Tigers were helped by a controversial off-sides call that went their way and they recovered an on-side kick to end the late UNC rally.

Team Strengths

Clemson has a really high powered pass offense. The pass rush is elite.  The passing game creates running opportunities.

Team Weaknesses

The overall defense is average at best.   If you can contain QB Dashaun Watson, you shut down half the offense due to the system.

Playoff Forecast

Even with the best QB and the best spread in the playoffs, Clemson will still have to make stops to win games.  And the late game rally’s by opponents will have to be prevented. If they can, they have a great shot at winning the College Football Playoff.

Well thanks for reading again!

Next up is a preview of the Oklahoma Sooners.