Boyd wants patience along with his confidence

by - Senior Writer -

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

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has the confidence, the athletic ability and the big-time arm a college quarterback needs.

Now he just needs the patience.

In 10 games as a starter, Boyd leads the ACC in passing, total yardage and touchdowns and the next touchdown pass he throws will be his 28th of the season and will put him atop Clemson’s single-season list.

The last two games, however, have seen a quarterback who maybe has too much confidence in his arm as Boyd has thrown four of his seven interceptions. Saturday against Wake Forest, Boyd appeared to wait for downfield patterns to open up, and then tried to force the throw even if his receiver wasn’t open.

Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Monday that he counted at least six balls that the Demon Deacons could have intercepted, and head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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concurred during his press conference on Tuesday.

“Tajh, his success, his confidence is sometimes not a positive,” Swinney said. “He has so much confidence he can make every throw. He thinks he can throw through that camera.”

“That,” he said while holding his hands about 10 inches apart, “is open for Tajh.”

Morris said that both Wake Forest and Georgia Tech dropped seven or eight defenders into pass coverage in order to cover the deep routes, and Boyd said Tuesday that he doesn’t want to get into the gunslinger mentality.

“I don’t want to get into a Brett Favre syndrome,” Boyd said. “I definitely do have confidence in my arm, but it can get me in trouble sometimes.”

Boyd said that having weapons like Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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, Nuk Hopkins, Jaron BrownJaron Brown
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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and tight ends that can catch like Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
RS Jr. Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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and Brandon FordBrandon Ford
RS Jr. Tight End
#80 6-4, 235
Wando, SC

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can create a false sense of security.

“I know they have confidence in me and I have confidence in my receivers as well,” he said. “It does get you in trouble sometimes. I took a real sense of security at the beginning of the season. Lately I’ve gotten a little lackadaisical where you go, ‘It’s a little window here, I’m going to try and squeeze it in.’”

Boyd said it is something he is confident he can correct.

“It works sometimes, but sometimes it doesn’t,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to have to focus on in film study. Something that definitely won’t continue to happen.”

Boyd said he watched the film of the Wake Forest game with his father – Tim Boyd – and said that was a painful experience as sometime his dad is his biggest critic. Then came a conversation with Morris, and following that was perhaps the most painful conversation of all – one with his teammates.

“I went out to eat with some of the guys, and they said, ‘Look at how many picks you should have had,” Boyd said. “I caught a lot of flak for it. It’s all fun and games until some of those picks come in real life. It’s something I have to have a real sense of pride and security about. It’s something uncharacteristic of me, something I haven’t done at any level, and I don’t want to start here.”

Boyd was asked how you combat a defense that drops so many into the deep passing lanes, and he said it comes down to taking his checkdown receiver.

“You’ve got to check the ball down, take what’s there,” he said. “Any quarterback wants to take deep shot, and force something that’s not there. But the best quarterbacks don’t do that. Phillip Rivers at N.C. State, he might have been the checkdown king, or at least that’s what I’m told. It’s something that has to be part of this offense. Later in the game, you take a few checkdowns here and there and things start opening up underneath. Early in the game, it was not something that was coming to mind with me. It’s something I have to recognize. You have to take the good with the bad and learn from it.”

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