|by David Hood|
Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said that Boyd was out of synch last week against N.C. State, and that it took the senior 59 plays to get into any kind of rhythm against the Wolfpack. Morris also said that he felt like Boyd was pressing and not having as much as he should be having.
“This has been a very challenging week for those guys, just to get into a rhythm and a groove and not press,” Morris said after the game. “You have guys that want to press and make this throw and that run, and I felt like we were doing that last week. I felt like it took us 59 snaps last week to get into a rhythm. All we needed was a spark.”
Morris said he told Boyd to just “go out and have fun” against the Deacons.
“I told him to just take what they give you. Just relax and go have fun,” Morris said. “That was the best thing I could tell him, to quit pressing and go have fun. He didn’t look like he was having fun last week. You played this game as a kid because you had fun. I told him to go have fun and let it loose. That is what he did today. “
The Tigers received the opening kickoff, and Boyd hit Adam Humphries on a quick pass for 12 yards and a first down on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage. Boyd then ran for six yards, setting up a 2nd-and-4 from the Clemson 36-yard line.
It was then that the fun started.
Boyd said that Clemson had noticed the Wake Forest defensive backs would bite on a stop-and-go route, and Watkins bolted down the right sideline, faked a stop and the Wake Forest defensive back grabbed Watkins once he started to run the rest of the route. The sideline official threw the flag, but Watkins gathered in Boyd’s throw and streaked the rest of the way for a 64-yard scoring toss and a quick 7-0 lead.
“We did a great job of watching film and practicing during the week, and we knew their cornerbacks liked to bite on certain things,” Watkins said of the play. “At first I didn’t think I was going to catch up to the ball, but you have to fight through those kinds of things that’s just what great players do and Tajh was able to get me the ball.”
All of a sudden, football was fun again.
“That is all we needed. That is the spark we needed, the thing to get us in synch,” Morris said. “That was the game plan coming in – we were going to take shots, whether we hit them or not. But we needed some guys to go out and make some plays. We are going to get back to playing loose and having fun.”
Morris said he was happy to see his quarterback having fun again.
“You knew he was having fun on some of those. I said it all week long, that if we can hit one, we will kick the door in,” he said. “That is all he kept saying over there was, ‘We got it. I feel it.’ And you feel it as a play-caller, and that is hard to explain. But I could feel it.”
Boyd said his performance – he was 17-for-24 for 311 yards and three scores and rushed 17 times for 69 yards and another touchdown – was an example of how he plays when he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself.
“I have put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. You start to go out there and try to prove things to other people, but I just need to go out and enjoy it,” Boyd said. “I have pretty much accomplished everything you can in a college career minus a couple of things — three things. I just need to enjoy this last go-round while I have it. We are just going to keep rolling from here and getting better.”
David Hood can be reached at email@example.com