Clemson QB Deshaun Watson won’t play against Oklahoma Sooners

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Good news, Sooner fans?

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney announced starting quarterback Deshaun Watson will not be available for the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29.

Watson played with a knee injury in a winning effort over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Thanksgiving weekend, but Swinney says his starting quarterback will undergo surgery this Friday.

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According to an Associated Press release, Watson already dealt with a broken bone in his throwing hand this season and missed action because of it. The decision for surgery was apparently one made for Watson to get a jump on recovering and being ready for 2015.

I would assume senior quarterback Cole Stoudt, who’s seen the field quite a bit this year, will take Watson’s place as the first-string quarterback against Oklahoma. Stoudt has thrown six touchdown passes, 10 interceptions, and 1,573 passing yards to his name in 2014.

Watson, on the other hand, threw 14 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season. He threw for 1,466 passing yards and has five touchdowns on the ground.

There’s no doubt Watson is a valuable asset to this Clemson Tiger football team, who are currently ranked 18th in the country.

He’s got great playmaking ability, and he’s just a true freshman, which makes him even scarier as one of the key future pieces of Clemson football.

Oklahoma’s secondary has been suspect all season, and Watson could have made life even worse for the Sooners’ struggling defense. A few early betting lines show OU as a slight favorite, and Watson’s absence could be the reason.

Keep in mind, OU could be without their starting quarterback as well. Plus, Samaje Perine and Sterling Shepard’s status are still up in the air.

The few weeks off will help with each player’s recovery time, but the injuries have piled up for the Sooners who will try to avoid their first five-loss season since 2009.

The Sooners and Tigers will square off on Dec. 29 at 4:30 pm on ESPN in Orlando, Florida.