The Clemson Tigers have enjoyed one of the most successful runs in school history with Tajh Boyd under center. Despite the wins and the prolific offensive numbers, however, the Tigers have struggled to win the “big” games, costing them opportunities to make their mark in the national title race. Last year, the Florida State Seminoles handed them their first loss of the season, which was enough to end their BCS National Championship (and ACC title) aspirations. The 2013 Tigers are in a position to make a run again and have FSU coming to town in a top-five showdown. Can Boyd lift Clemson and cement his legacy?
Up to now, Boyd has been a great college quarterback with a great big “but” attached to his game. He runs one of the best offenses in the country BUT can’t get it done against elite competition. He’s a Heisman Trophy contender BUT hasn’t really won all that many marquee games. Boyd has been on a mission to erase that caveat in 2013 starting last bowl season when Clemson pulled out a gritty win against the LSU Tigers (then ranked No. 8) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Then he opened the 2013 season with a shootout win over the then-No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs at home 38-35, giving the Tigers back-to-back signature wins over tough SEC opponents.
BUT…they still have to make it through their ACC schedule. They had a scare put into them last week by the Boston College Eagles before pulling away for a 10-point win thanks to some big defensive plays. Many feel it appeared as if the team might have been caught looking past BC a bit. Understandable when you consider what the challenge rolling into Death Valley this Saturday.
This week, they face their second fifth-ranked team in FSU who has been playing lights out this season behind quarterback Jameis Winston, who may end up being the ACC’s next Tajh Boyd. For now, the elder statesman of the ACC quarterback class will look to assert his dominance over the youngster and keep his team on track.
If he can, Boyd will erase the reputation of Clemson being unable to win those “big” games and solidify his legacy as one of the best to ever lead the charge down the hill from Howard’s Rock. Will this game be the end of “Clemsoning” as a synonym for failure in big moments?