By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
CLEMSON — When he got up Thursday morning and looked outside, Tajh Boyd was disappointed to see it was raining and the high temperature was expected to be in the upper 40s. It wasn’t exactly the best weather for a quarterback to see when he is preparing to play the seventh-ranked team in the country in LSU.
Then Clemson’s starting quarterback remembered something very important, he did have to worry about the weather anymore. He now has an indoor practice facility to shelter him and his teammates from the outside elements.
“Hey, it’s beautiful,” Boyd said following Thursday’s practice as the No. 13 Tigers prepare to play LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve. “I was like, ‘Man, it’s raining!’ Then I was like, ‘Hey, dude you have the indoor.’
“It’s good. I’m very excited about it. I don’t know if you have been in there, yet, but it is unbelievable. It is really nice. The alumni did a great job helping out.”
Boyd says having the new indoor practice facility has been great because it has helped with the preparation of what it will be like inside the Georgia Dome.
“It has been really humid in there so it has been different and it’s a different surface than playing out in the regular surface and the regular air so I think we will be prepared as much as possible for this bowl game,” he said.
Run the rock. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris says the Tigers need to be able to run the football with some effectiveness if it hopes to beat LSU. That can be difficult though considering LSU has one of the best run defenses in the country.
The SEC’s Tigers are giving up only 101.8 yards a game on the ground. Clemson is averaging 198.8 rushing yards per game.
“I think in any game you go into, running the football opens up everything else,” Morris said. “We have to run the football. I think when we are at our best, we do a great job of mixing it up. I think that is something to be said.
“I think when they can make you one-dimensional, that favors the defense at that point.”
Bowl week. Clemson will conclude practice on the Clemson campus for the 2012 season Friday morning and will not pick things back up until they meet as a team in Atlanta on Christmas night. The Tigers will then pick back up where they left off with practices on Dec. 26, which will run through Dec. 30.
“When we get there, it will be just like a regular game week that we have here,” Boyd said. “It is five days leading up to the game, so we will go in the same order we would if we were playing a regular season game.
“Again, we have put in a lot of physical work the last two weeks and a lot of mental training and mental preparation so we are excited about this game coming up.”
Nothing for Christmas. Boyd says he is not expecting anything for Christmas this year because he told his mother Carla Boyd that he did not need anything. But, he says he knows his mom, and he would not be surprised if she did buy him something.
“I gave this Christmas so I’m good with it if I don’t,” he said. “I’m in a giving spirit.”