By Will Vandervort
For the last three years, Tajh Boyd has done things at the quarterback position that have never been done before at Clemson.
He finished his career with 11,904 passing yards, 107 touchdowns passes, 13,072 total yards and 133 touchdown responsibilities. Overall, he finished as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passing efficiency, touchdown responsibilities, touchdown passes, completions, attempts and total offense. In all, Boyd owns 52 Clemson records and 13 ACC records including touchdown passes and touchdown responsibilities.
To top it off, he knocked off No. 7 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl to tie Rodney Williams (1985-88) as the school’s all-time winner. He finished his career with a 32-8 record as a three-year starter. Williams was 32-10-2 as a four-year starter at Clemson.
So in a salute to Boyd and all the great things he did in representing Clemson University and the football program, we give you what The Clemson Insider.com considers his 10 best performances.
- Clemson 25, LSU 24; December 31, 2012: This is without a doubt Boyd’s finest hour as a Tiger. He willed Clemson to victory that night over No. 7 LSU despite being hit over and over again by the Bayou Bengals. He finished the night completing 36 of 50 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. He rallied the Tigers from 11 points down at the start of the fourth quarter and then on a last minute drive to set up Chandler Catanzaro’s game-winning field goal as time expired. The play of the game came on that winning drive when he completed a 26-yard pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on fourth-and-16 from his own 14-yard line to keep the chains moving.
- Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 10; December 3, 2011: Boyd carried the Tigers to their first ACC Championship in 20 years by completing 20 of 29 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns in knocking off No. 3 Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. He also ran for a touchdown and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player when it was all said and done.
- Clemson 40, Ohio State 35; January 3, 2014: In his final game as a Tiger Boyd played one of his greatest games. The only reason this performance is not No. 1 is because of the two head-scratching interceptions he threw, but the other 38 passes were brilliant. He completed 31 of 40 throws for 378 yards and five touchdowns, while also running for a career-high 127 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown on the game’s first possession. He threw touchdown passes to Sammy Watkins (34, 30), Martavis Bryant (3,3) and Stanton Seckinger (5).
- Clemson 62, NC State 48; November 17, 2012: Boyd set an ACC record with 8 touchdown responsibilities in one game when he threw for five touchdowns and ran for three more in leading the Tigers to their seventh straight ACC victory. In a duel with NC State quarterback Mike Glennon, Boyd completed 30 of 44 passes for 426 yards, while running 18 times for 103 yards.
- Clemson 49, Syracuse 14; October 5, 2013: He only took 35 snaps that afternoon, but they were the most efficient snaps of his career. Boyd threw for a career high and Clemson record 455 yards while completing 20 of 27 passes. He had five touchdown passes of 60, 42, 17, 40 and 91 yards. His 60- and 42-yard passes were thrown to Adam Humphries, while Martavis Bryant hauled in the 40 yarder. Watkins was the beneficiary of the 91-yard strike.
- Clemson 38, Georgia 35; August 31, 2013: Boyd got the Tigers off to a good start to the 2013 season by totaling 312 yards in a win over the No. 5 Bulldogs. The senior totaled five touchdowns, while running for 42 yards and scoring twice on 13 carries. He also threw for 270 yards and three scores, while completing 18 of 30 passes with no interceptions.
- Clemson 42, Wake Forest 13; October 25, 2012: Boyd threw all five of his touchdown passes before halftime as the Tigers opened up a 35-7 lead before rolling to the 42-13 victory in Winston-Salem. Boyd completed 27 of 38 passes and went over the 400-yard mark for the first time in his career. He finished the game with 455 total yards and no turnovers.
- Clemson 35, Florida State 30; September 24, 2011: Playing against one of the best defenses in the country, Boyd was almost flawless in leading the Tigers to a win over No. 11 Florida State. In his first ACC game as a starter, Boyd completed 22 of 35 passes for 344 yards and no interceptions. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. Overall, he had 363 total yards.
- Clemson 55, Georgia Tech 31; November 14, 2013: Playing in his next to last game at Death Valley, Boyd put on a show for the ages as he completed 20 of 26 passes for 340 yards, while throwing touchdown passes of 41 and 44 yards to Watkins, 4 yards to Mike Williams and 76 yards to Bryant. He also ran in from a yard out for another score and finished the night with 43 yards on 15 carries as the Tigers steamrolled Georgia Tech for a second straight year.
- Clemson 38, Auburn 24; September 17, 2011: Boyd introduced himself to the college football world when he guided the Tigers to a victory over defending national champion Auburn, while snapping its 17-game winning streak in the process. Boyd completed 30 of 42 passes for 386 yards, while throwing touchdown passes to Watkins (19 and 65), tight end Dwayne Allen (6) and Hopkins (4). He also ran for 30 yards on seven carries, totaling 416 overall – a season high for 2011.