Clemson Football: Reviewing the 5 Keys to Beating the Oklahoma Sooners

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Dec 29, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Cole Stoudt (18) celebrates as the Clemson Tigers beat the Oklahoma Sooners 40-6 in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Key #5: Cole Stoudt must not throw interceptions

Anyone who watched the Clemson football team’s performance against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets knows how quickly the tide of a game can shift when one quarterback is chucking interceptions.

With Watson running the offense, the Tigers appeared headed towards a tough victory against a very good Yellow Jackets team. Then Watson went down with another injury, Cole Stoudt came in, and a couple interceptions later the Yellow Jackets were running away with the win.

Before the Russell Athletic Bowl match-up with Oklahoma, I pointed out that Stoudt threw 10 interceptions in 2014, compared to only six touchdown passes. I figured that a touchdown-to-interception ratio like that simply wouldn’t cut it against Oklahoma. Stoudt might have been able to get away with one turnover but two or more would almost certainly mean a loss.

Well, my thought that Clemson might be able to overcome one turnover was never tested. Not only did Stoudt not throw an interception, the Tigers did not turn the ball over even once, as a team.

Stoudt’s performance was easily the best of his career and it was one of the main reasons for Clemson’s domination. He completed 26-of-36 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns on the day.

Next: Key #4