When No. 5 Florida State and No. 3 Clemson meet on Saturday night, there will be ACC championship and BCS Championship titles at stake. The winner is in the driver’s seat to go to the ACC title game and perhaps an undefeated season. The loser will be trying to play their way into a one-loss season and an at-large bid in the BCS.
Not only is this a big game for the two teams involved, but also for the two starting Quarterbacks. For Clemson, Senior Tajh Boyd has been a Heisman candidate for three straight seasons and has led the Tigers to two straight top-25 seasons and one BCS bowl game. He is back on the Heisman radar and has his team close to a National Title Game.
For Florida State, they had been grooming Clint Trickett to take over at Quarterback when E.J. Manuel left. Before the season, Trickett transferred to West Virginia after losing out on the starting QB role to redshirt Freshman Jameis Winston. Winston was the No. 1 QB recruit coming out of high school in 2012 and chose Florida State knowing he would have a chance to compete right away.
So far in five games, Winston has 17 TDs and two INTs and has completed 73.2 percent of his passes. He has also rushed 36 times for 135 yards and two TDs. Boyd has played six games this year and has 15 TD and two INTs and has completed 66.5 percent of his passes. Boyd has rushed the ball 66 times for 187 yards and five TDs.
Both QBs are dual-threats with the ability to stay in the pocket and throw the ball as well as tuck and run. Neither QB makes many mistakes having only thrown two INTs each. The biggest difference between the two is experience in big games. Boyd has played in three bowl games and has beat a top-10 team in Georgia already this season. Boyd has also faced Florida State twice going 1-1, winning at home and losing in Tallahassee. Winston hasn’t really been tested by a top team yet and hasn’t gone on the road to face a ranked opponent in his career.
While the skill sets are very similar, the experience of Boyd makes him the better Quarterback in this matchup. This slight edge will give Clemson the win over Florida State on Saturday Night.