For former Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden, there’s only one quarterback he would trust if he had one game to try to beat Alabama.
In an interview on The Opening Kickoff on 105.5 WNSP FM on Wednesday, Bowden said he’d take Clemson QB Deshaun Watson before anybody else if he had a one-game playoff against the Crimson Tide. That may seem like homerism from the former Tigers coach, but he has a good reason.
“If I had to win one game today, if I had to beat Alabama today, who would I want? I’d take Deshaun Watson because of his track record,” Bowden said, according to AL.com’s Mark Heim.
Bowden pointed to the fact that in big games against top opponents like Florida State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma last season, Watson played his best games of the year.
Not to mention the fact that Watson’s play against the Crimson Tide in the national title game in January was spectacular. He was 37-of-40 passing for 405 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in that game, and he added another 73 yards on the ground.
Some might counter that Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, the current Heisman frontrunner, has played better than Watson this season. Bowden didn’t dispute that, but Watson’s overall record holds more weight for the former coach.
“Does Lamar Jackson run the ball better? Yeah, he’s a great runner,” Bowden said. “Deshaun Watson is a good runner. Right now, Lamar Jackson might throw the ball as well as Deshaun, but he doesn’t have the track record.”
Jackson has put together some stunning performances in big games this season, specifically a win over Florida State and a comeback that fell just short against Watson and the Tigers. If Jackson keeps adding to his resume in big games like Watson did, would that change Bowden’s mind?
“In another year, you might say the same thing about Lamar Jackson,” he said. “Then, I would take him.”