1. Clemson 28, Texas A&M 26
Gut check time.
The defense really is fantastic – it only allowed 71 yards of Texas A&M rushing – but it did give up over 500 yards of total offense.
The offense came through with big plays to answer several A&M big plays – but it did have to hold on for dear life on a two-point conversion, and caught a big break on a bad call on a fumble through the end zone.
All that matters is that Clemson got punched in the mouth, took it, and came away with the win.
There was no panic.
There were no mistakes.
Texas A&M turned it over twice, and Clemson didn’t give it away. There were just four penalties, the quarterbacks were terrific, and a win is a win. There will be few tougher tests this year, if any, and Clemson passed.
Kelly Bryant raised his game to another level when the team needed him the most – leading the team with 54 rushing yards and a score, and with 205 passing yards and a score – and Trevor Lawrence showed that he might just be the best relieve pitcher in college football with his big touchdown pass, helped a wee bit by Tee Higgins.
And now it’s time to shift gears.
It’s option time, dealing with Georgia Southern next to prepare for Georgia Tech, but with Florida State sucking wind, the toughest game left is … at Boston College? South Carolina? NC State?
This might have been it for the losable games. And Clemson is a better team for it.