Watkins wants to do his part

CLEMSON - Even Superman couldn't have saved Clemson from that disastrous showing the last time the Tigers visited Carter-Finley Stadium.

It was that bad. And all Sammy Watkins could do was watch from the sidelines as he rested the shoulder that was banged up a week earlier against Wake Forest.

"I think we just played a bad game all-around on offense," Watkins said. "I don't think I could have helped that game. We had too many turnovers."

There were four turnovers, to be exact, two fumbles and two interceptions. Both fumbles were inside the Clemson 20-yardline. Both of the interceptions were in the third quarter when the game was already out of hand for the Tigers.

"It was just a bad, bad game that we played -- too many turnovers," Watkins said. "They had the ball too many times past our 50. They just executed their plan and beat us pretty bad."

The Clemson offense will be short-handed at wide receiver again when they head to N.C. State on Thursday night. Watkins' roommate, Charone Peake, is done for the season with a torn ACL.

Joining Watkins and Martavis Bryant in the starting lineup at wide receiver will be Peake's high school classmate, Adam Humphries.

"We've got to make a lot of plays," Watkins said. "I know Adam can make plays. That's what he's been doing his whole career here, so Martavis and I have to step up and make more plays with Charone being gone. That comes on us and how we prepare.

"I think, having this week off, we prepared well. We'll see a lot of big plays from Martavis and, hopefully, me."

Clemson are very well aware of Watkins' ability to make big plays. Among active ACC players, he's second in receptions [148], first in receiving yards [2,073] and touchdown catches [16].

Through two games this season, he has nine catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

A couple of factors will help Clemson avoid another letdown at N.C. State. For one, Watkins will be available.

An older, more mature team will help, too.

"Two years ago, we weren't humble. I don't think we knew how to deal with the success we had," Watkins said.

That's changed, he thinks.

"I can sense that, this year, the coaches really work on us being humble, coming everyday to practice," Watkins said. "Everybody gets treated the same as me, Tajh [Boyd], the walk-ons. This year, I think everybody is coming together as a group and a team."

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