Clemson Tigers quarterback DeShaun Watson connects with Charone Peake on a beautiful long pass play that Mark Schofield highlights as his big throw of the CFB weekend.
Having already secured their ticket to the ACC Championship Game, #1 Clemson looked to continue their undefeated season when they hosted Wake Forest. The Tigers did their job, riding a 20-point first quarter en route to a 33-13 victory over the Demon Deacons. Another impressive throw from quarterback Deshaun Watson highlighted the early scoring.
Facing 2nd and 8 with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter, Clemson deploys 11 offensive personnel with Watson in the shotgun. The Tigers initially set up in a 2×2 alignment, with a slot look to the left, as tight end Jordan Leggett (#16) aligns as a wing and wide receiver Charone Peake (#19) splits outside. On the right, Hunter Renfrow (#13) and Artavis Scott (#3) are in an inverted slot formation, with Renfrow to the inside:
Wake Forest sends out a 4-3 base defense on the field, using an over front and strong-side linebacker Jaboree Williams (#39) covering the TE. The secondary initially shows Cover 4, but off the snap they roll into Cover 3 Buzz, dropping safety Cameron Glenn (#2) into an underneath zone:
Before the start of the play, Scott comes in motion from the right, and after the snap the WR, quarterback and running back C.J. Davidson (#21) meet at the mesh point, selling run action to the defenders. But Watson keeps the football, and the Tigers run a sail concept to the left:
This concept is the perfect play to attack Cover 3, as it puts free safety Zach Dancel (#9) into a bind: either he stays deep and helps on the vertical route, or he vacates the deep middle to cover the deep crossing route, leaving cornerback Brad Watson (#25) alone on Peake. Watson needs to read the FS and make his throw based off of Dancel’s decision.
The safety covers the deep crossing route from Renfrow, leaving Wilson alone on Peake’s go route:
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The WR is able to get a step on the cornerback, and Watson shows off his impressive arm, dropping in a perfect throw into the receiver’s arms four-yards deep in the end zone. Here is another angle, showing the route, and catch, by the receiver:
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Wilson uses off man technique at the snap, and tries to pin the receiver to the sideline as they race downfield. But Peake beats the DB with speed, and the perfect throw from Watson caps off the play.
Up next for the Tigers is their in-state rival the South Carolina Gamecocks, who are all that stand between Clemson and an undefeated regular-season, and a playoff berth.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.
Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.
All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.