Bryant to Boyd: "You won't overthrow me"

by - Staff Writer -
Bryant had five catches for a career-high 176 yards Thursday night
Bryant had five catches for a career-high 176 yards Thursday night

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

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remembered that freak athlete Martavis Bryant Martavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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was on the field Thursday night, it was game over for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Clemson fans have heard from Boyd and others all season that Bryant was a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode onto the college football scene, and that explosion finally happened Thursday night in Death Valley.

Bryant had five catches for 176 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s 55-31 victory over Georgia Tech.

Early in the first quarter, Boyd threw a pass down the sideline to Bryant, but Tech defender D.J. White was flagged for pass interference; however, it didn’t take the junior out of T.L. Hanna long to remind Boyd of his speed and athleticism.

Boyd told the media in postgame interviews, that Bryant quietly reminded him to have confidence in his abilities and not be afraid to take another shot down the field.

“It just makes people understand how explosive this offense is. It’s been a situation where Tay has been doing some really good things this season, but tonight he really stepped it up to another level,” Boyd said of Bryant. “Earlier, he had a pass interference and he came to the sideline to me – I like to think that I’m a good judge of speed and things of that nature – he was like ‘Tajh, I promise you that you won’t overthrow me. I’ll run underneath it.’ He was confident in me and I was confident in him. We just went out there and made some things happen tonight.”

The result – a 76-yard pitch-and-catch for a touchdown in which Bryant ran under Boyd’s throw, a play that changed how Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof was defending Clemson’s offense.

When Georgia Tech realized that Bryant was a receiving threat, the double and triple teams on Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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ceased to exist and the entire offense began to function like well-oiled machine.

“I was getting a lot of double teams and triple teams in the first half, and he hit him two or three times with those long balls and they started running Cover 1 and things like that and we started running short passes,” Watkins said. “That helped out the running game as well because they were backing up.”

After being suspended for Clemson’s win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year, many wondered if Bryant would ever be a factor in the Tigers’ offense, but Watkins said that he never doubted Bryant’s abilities and reminds him on a daily basis that he has an opportunity to do something special at Clemson and in the NFL.

“He has been practicing hard and listening to the coaches,” Watkins said. “I have been in his ear every week telling him that he’s an NFL caliber receiver and that he’s a freak athlete. It’s good to see him come into a groove with Tajh. He understands that he’s a big part of the offense now. He did a great job stepping up to the plate tonight.”

For Bryant, it was nice to see all of his hard work in the summer and fall finally pay off.

“I had just had a good week of practice and preparation and the hard work is paying off for me,” Bryant said. “I told the coaches before the game that I felt good about the game. It felt good for my hard work to finally pay off. As I keep playing the game, I’ll keep getting better. I’ll get back to work on Monday and keep practicing hard.”

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