Boyd doesn't like that losing feeling

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CLEMSON – Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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said on Wednesday that losing, to him, is like having a death in the family, and it’s something he doesn’t plan on getting used to.

Boyd has 25 touchdowns and five interceptions this season while leading the ACC in passing (297.1 ypg) and total offense (315.3 ypg).Last Saturday, he completed 23 of 40 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown in a 31-17 loss at Georgia Tech, but had two interceptions.

On Wednesday, he said he took the loss hard.

"It's something you do not get accustomed to. It's a different sense of losing when you're starting opposed to when you're not playing,” Boyd said. “When you're not playing, you're not really a part of it to an extent. But when you're out there, there are opportunities to win. It's one of the most disappointing feelings in life. Personally, it's to the point where a death in the family and losing a game are the most devastating things I can think of. The rest of my life, it's like ‘whatever.’ But those two things, it's hard to deal with.”

Boyd lost for the first time as a collegiate starter against Tech.

"You don't expect to ever lose, honestly, especially when you can normally control what's going on,” he said. “One loss was enough for me. I don't plan on losing anymore. It's one of those things you have to learn from it. You have to keep going on.”

The Tigers turned the ball over four times and failed to take advantage of a fourth quarter interception by Clemson safety Rashard HallRashard Hall
Gr. Safety
#31 6-1, 210
St. Augustine, FL

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that gave them the ball at the Tech nine yard line, and Boyd said that was indicative of the entire game.

"We just didn't play a complete game, offensively, me nor the rest of the guys,” he said. “There were definitely flashes of things that were really good, whether it was coming back in the second half or taking the opening drive down. But the picks, the fumbles - you can't do that. It's hard to play from behind against a team that controls the clock like that. It was just one of those deals."

He then said the true test of whether this is a championship team or not will be how they respond.

"This week you just have to be positive with it,” he said. “The biggest thing is not how we lost or that we lost, but how we respond from it. Do you win the next three games and continue to do what we need to do? I really feel like this is a different team. I do feel like we'll come back a little bit stronger. It's almost to the point where you do have a sense that you are invincible. Even when we went into halftime, it was like, 'Ah, it's no big deal. We'll come back and drop 40 in the second half.' Then when you see those seconds ticking off, it's like man, every drive you may have to score. It's hard to put yourself in those situations.”

The Tigers have outscored opponents just 153-147 in the first half of games this season and 189-84 in the second half, and offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Wednesday that he needed to get Boyd involved earlier in the offense – perhaps by more called quarterback runs – in order to get the offense on track early.

Boyd agreed with his coach, and said the entire team needs to learn to start faster.

"We have to start better earlier,” he said. “If we do put more points up in the first half, we may have better outcomes. They were a really good team, but we also did not help ourselves out at all. It's nothing we can't control. It's almost to the point where you have to look at yourself individually and realize how important it is to start fast early.

“We won the second half 14-7, but we didn't do enough to win the second half. We have to learn how to start better. We have no problems finishing. I think that's something that's happened with past teams. Now it's a problem with starting early. We have to execute better. We have to continue to work hard as a group and as a unit. Me being a leader of the offense, I have to push myself and the guys around me."

He was asked if he would like to see the Yellow Jackets in the ACC Championship Game, and he said he preferred to concentrate on Wake Forest, Clemson’s next opponent.

"Whatever happens, happens and I'm excited about that opportunity,” he said. “Personally, no matter if it's Virginia, Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech, we have to take it and run with it. But Wake Forest, this is a division game coming up. If they beat us, they go to the title game. So we have to prepare ourselves and know that anything can happen on game day. We have to focus and go execute against them."

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