This might be what you could label as the quintessential football hangover.
Coming off a high-profile opener on The Plains against Auburn, No. 2 Clemson figured to have an easy go of it at home against Troy. Instead, the Tigers are facing significant issues in figuring out the Sun Belt school as they hold a scant three-point lead at the half.
All-American Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson is having a solid game statistically as he’s thrown for 175 yards and a touchdown. He’s also thrown an interception, and was the triggerman of an offense that was just 2-10 in third and fourth efficiency.
Additionally, the Tigers have done nothing on the ground as the Trojans have held them to just 25 yards on the ground. It’ not like the Trojans haven’t tried to give their hosts some breathing room, either, as they’ve turned the ball over three times.
And then there was, late in the second quarter, Ray-Ray McCloud channeling his inner DeSean Jackson/Kaelin Clay — oh, Kaelin — and costing his team seven points on a punt return for a touchdown that was ultimately ruled a fumble.
It was 19-10 until it wasn’t.
Ray-Ray McCloud drops ball before crossing goal line, costing Clemson a crucial TD: https://t.co/lYjGD1OgpA
— ESPN (@espn) September 10, 2016
Instead of a 20-10 halftime lead, McCloud’s premature celebration kept it a 13-10 game after two quarters.
UPDATED 3:59 p.m.ET: No. 2 Clemson’s standing in the polls could be in jeopardy come Sunday morning as the Tigers barely squeaked past Troy 30-23.
Watson finished with 292 yards and three touchdowns. The Heisman candidate also tossed a pair of picks.