Clemson's Deshaun Watson won a thrilling battle of dual-threat quarterbacks with Louisville's Lamar Jackson on Saturday night. The Tigers edged the Cardinals, 42-36, with help from a fourth-down stop inside the Clemson 5-yard line when there was less than a minute to play.
Watson was intercepted three times, but led a fourth-quarter comeback and finished with five touchdown passes and 306 passing yards, plus 91 rushing yards. Jackson threw for 295 yards and rushed for a game-high 162.
"This was one of the best experiences I've ever had, the ups, the downs ... we pulled it out," Watson told ABC.
Clemson took a commanding 28-10 lead at the half, but Jackson led a roaring second-half comeback for the Cardinals with 26 unanswered points for a 36-28 lead. Then it was Watson's turn to respond with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He connected with TE Jordan Leggett for a 31-yard score with 3:14 left for the game-winning points. Clemson RB Wayne Gallman added 101 yards on the ground on 16 carries, with a touchdown.
"You've got to give props to Lamar. He's a great player, a hard worker, he didn't quit to the very end," Watson said.
Watson, a Heisman Trophy finalist a year ago, is 19-1 as a starter since the beginning of last season. The win kept Clemson in first place in the ACC Atlantic Division.
Jackson, a sophomore, has accounted for 28 touchdowns through five games this year.