By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
ESPN’s has Tajh Boyd listed as the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy after the first two weeks of the season, which is funny because the Clemson quarterback does not seem to think he has played all that well this season, especially in the third-ranked Tigers’ win over S.C. State last week.
Though Boyd completed 14 of 23 passes for 169 yards in Clemson’s 52-13 victory, he feels he was a little impatient last week and tried to complete the big play instead of checking things down and going with what was open.
“It just wasn’t up to par, I don’t think,” Boyd said on Tuesday from Clemson’s WestZone in Memorial Stadium.
To be fair, Boyd wasn’t the only one not playing to his standard. The Tigers’ offense struggled at times in the S.C. State game, especially early on. At one point, the Clemson defense scored more points than the offense did.
“We did some good things, but whether it was me and it trickled down or whatever it was, it was not exciting as it usually was,” Boyd said.
The Tigers (2-0) eventually got going as Boyd scored on a one-yard run and then backup quarterback Cole Stoudt threw three touchdown passes, including two to wide receiver Germone Hopper. However, for the first time in 17 games, Boyd did not throw a touchdown pass, which made him re-evaluate his play.
“When I was out there, I just kind of wanted to hit the deep ball a little bit more so I didn’t go to my check down and create some things. I just have to play the game and take what the defense is giving me.
“Take the flat routes, take the check downs. I don’t think a lot of teams are going to let us (go deep) this year. They are going to try and prevent us from going deep so that is something I have to get used to and take what is there when I’m out there on the field.”
The Clemson offense finished 512 total yards against the Bulldogs and is averaging 489 yards and 45 points a game thus far, yet the Tigers still have not played their best? Keep in mind one of those two wins includes a 38-35 victory over No. 9 Georgia.
“I think we just came out kind of flat in general and just did not do what we are capable of doing,” Boyd said.
The good news for Clemson is though Boyd may not be playing his best football right now, he isn’t turning the ball over. Through the first two games, the Tigers’ quarterback has not thrown an interception or fumbled the ball.
So it comes down to Boyd just doing the little things to get his team over the top, and if he does that the big plays downfield will start coming.
“My guys can flat out run so when you are out there you have to take what (the defense is) going to give you in the game,” he said. “I learned that early in my career, but last week was one of those deals where I really, really wanted to go deep. I could have taken a little extra time where I could have taken the shorter routes and took what was there. If is third-and-10, and maybe if I take the three-yard check down, maybe he will run for 10 yards. It is just something that I have to keep growing and developing with.”
And if Boyd does that, then those 77-yard passes to guys like Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant will start coming with more frequency than it has in the first two games.
“If you execute the little things, then those big things will come later on,” Boyd said. “Again, it might not happen at that moment, but during the course of the game and as it goes along, you will be able to have what you want.
“What we see on film isn’t exactly what you see on the field so you have to go out there and make adjustments. You have to perform within the system and take it from there.”