There is not a quarterback controversy at Clemson, but there is also not much of a drop-off when starter Tajh Boyd leaves the game and backup Cole Stoudt comes into the game. Stoudt, a junior, came in against South Carolina State last weekend and put up excellent numbers helping the Tigers to a 52-13 victory on the first Saturday of September. Stoudt finished the game with only one incompletion as he threw the ball 20 times connecting on 19 of them. His accuracy was very clear when he threw all three of his touchdown passes, putting the ball in the perfect spot each time. Perhaps even more impressive was that he did not throw any interceptions and made the correct read on each play after going through his progressions. The first team offense looked uninterested at times in the first half so offensive coordinator Chad Morris brought in Stoudt, who passed for 143 yards, to jump start the team and it worked.
It is no secret that South Carolina State is not on the same level as Clemson, but Stoudt has been in Morris’ system the same amount of time as Boyd and this is his third straight season as the backup at Clemson. The numbers that Stoudt put up the other day are very solid, but the thing that is the most encouraging for Clemson fans is that Stoudt knows this offense just as well as Tajh Boyd. Morris does not have to change his play-calling when Stoudt is in the game because he is more than capable of leading the team down the field on sustained drives.
Two years ago when Boyd went down with a leg injury against Boston College, Stoudt came in the rest of the game and led a touchdown scoring drive to widen the margin of victory. Last season Stoudt saw plenty of mop-up duty with Tigers destroying many of their opponents by a good amount, and Stoudt came in and did not turn the ball over and led the offense down the field. He is a very serviceable backup, but he is doing his best to get more playing time and possibly be the starter for next season. There is a lot to like about this kid as he is one cool customer and has the confidence that is rarely displayed in a backup quarterback.
Due to the lack of depth at the quarterback position in the ACC, I believe that there are a few teams that Stoudt could start for (cough Virginia Tech) and do well. Clemson is lucky to have such a good backup that is willing to pay his dues and do what is best for the Clemson football team. A lot of people had not heard of this kid because he just does not make mistakes and manages the game while he is in there, but Chad Morris started to turn him loose which was great to see. If Stoudt continues to put up numbers and take advantage of his opportunities when in the game, then he could start to solidify a starting spot next season after Tajh Boyd moves on.
Travis Patterson, writer for the ACC on Rantsports.com. Follow on Twitter @tpat20 https://twitter.com/tpat20