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PRESENTED BY NCAA Football Clemson Tigers

Clemson Tigers’ Tajh Boyd Makes Heisman Statement

Johnny Manziel got more national attention especially after his childish unsportsmanlike penalty on Saturday. Jadeveon Clowney had the most-talked about performance, mostly for how underwhelming it was.

But, no one had a better weekend than Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

In the most hyped game of the opening weekend, Boyd was the best player on the field in Clemson’s 38-35 win over the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The senior signal caller accounted for five touchdowns and continually made plays with the game hanging in the balance. All told, he threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 42 yards and two scores on the ground.

Boyd was brilliant throughout the night, but particularly so in the face of an unyielding Georgia pass rush. Time and again, the Clemson offensive line broke down, but Boyd’s elusiveness saved the day. His subtle movements within the pocket allowed him to avoid drive-crushing sacks. Rather than facing long yardage situations, Boyd continually escaped and either threw the ball away or scrambled for some positive yardage.

Boyd was also great on third down, converting on 7-of-16 chances, keeping drives alive with crucial conversions. Georgia’s young defense was better than most expected, but eventually wore down as Boyd made plays in the clutch.

Although Boyd is a household name in the college game, few picked him as a Heisman Trophy front runner entering the 2013 season. Saturday night’s tour de force might have changed people’s favorites lists. With the upset win, Clemson is now a serious contender to run the table and play in the national championship game.

If that happens, Boyd has a legitimate shot to pull off the upset and win the Heisman in December.

B.L. is an ACC football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip or on Google