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Clemson's Deshaun Watson throws for 6 TDs in first career start

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Deshaun Watson torched North Carolina's defense in his debut as Clemson's starting quarterback.

True freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson made his first start for Clemson on Saturday, and he set the bar quite high.

Watson threw for 435 yards and a school-record six touchdowns as the Tigers whipped North Carolina, 50-35. The six TD passes also set an ACC record for any league quarterback making his starting debut.

He finished 27-of-36 (75 percent), and six of his completions went to sophomore wide receiver Mike Williams; those receptions were good for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson finished with 528 total yards and was 10-of-18 on third-down conversions.

Watson threw two TD passes in the first half, both covering at least 50 yards; he tossed two in the third quarter and another two in the fourth quarter. Five of the six TD passes covered at least 24 yards and four were at least 30 yards.

Watson played most of the way in relief of Cole Stoudt in last week's overtime loss at Florida State; Saturday night, he took a seat in the fourth quarter and Stoudt came on to finish off the game.

Watson (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) was considered the nation's top dual-threat quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class and a consensus top-50 player overall. He enrolled in January and went through spring practice.

As for North Carolina's defense? Well, it's seen better days. The Tar Heels have surrendered 120 points, 882 passing yards and 10 TD passes in their last two games.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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