Boyd ready for Auburn this time around

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson quarterback Kyle ParkerKyle Parker
#11 6-1, 200
Jacksonville, FL

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took a shot to the back last year in the third quarter of Clemson’s 27-24 loss to Auburn, an injury that not only threatened to knock him out of the game but seemingly had an impact on the remainder of the 2010 season.

Backup quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 230
Hampton, VA

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said Tuesday that he knew he was close to replacing Parker, and can only speculate what the results would have been, but he now knows he was nowhere near ready for that type of responsibility.

“I think I was pretty close to playing after K.P. went down,” Boyd said. “He went down on third down, and if it would have been on any other down other than third I would have been in there. Coach [Swinney] was like, ‘Go in there, manage the game and win the game for us.’ I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ I would have been pretty nervous if I had to go into the game at that point.”

I asked Boyd if he felt like he was ready to play at that point, and he admitted he wasn’t.

“It’s completely different,” he said. “I can say I was ready, but realistically I wasn’t ready to play. You can't just throw somebody into that kind of situation. Coach [Morris] has done a great job of developing me and I’m steadily coming along. And now I have the young guys coming along with me, and I am definitely looking forward to this game.”

Boyd said even though he didn’t make into the game last year, he still remembers the heartbreak of defeat.

“Any time you lose, it’s disappointing,” he said. “I wasn’t really accustomed to losing in high school, and when you lose a game like that it’s emotional. It’s something you don’t want to experience, and I am going to do everything in my power this year to keep that from happening.”

Boyd said he feels like he has made progress over the first two games, but knows there is more out there for him to prove.

“I am steadily coming along. I am getting a feel for the speed of the players and their capabilities,” he said. “I just have to keep improving at practice every day. Coach Morris challenges me each day to keep improving. I think you will see the results continue to improve as the season goes along.”

Boyd said he felt like his effort against Wofford last Saturday was a marked improvement over his first half against Troy.

“I thought I did some things well,” he said. “Things like stepping up in the pocket and creating things. But we left too much out there on the field. I want to improve things, like doing better on my checkdowns and things like that. Learning how to read the blitz and feel the pressure.”

The Virginia native says just like last year when Swinney told him to “manage the game,” he knows that is what he has to do this season as the Tigers begin a tough slate of games, starting with this week’s contest against the defending national champions.

“Now, you have to come each week ready to play,” he said. “We don’t have a bye week until November, so we have to take care of each game and ourselves each game. We can win or lose each game, and I have to do my part – which means no picks, no fumbles and no unnecessary sacks. “

Boyd said he can't wait for the atmosphere that he thinks Death Valley will have Saturday afternoon, and said the only way it could be better was if longtime broadcaster Keith Jackson was announcing the game.

But he also knows, just like last year, there is one thing he has to do.

“At end of the day just have to go out there and play.”

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