"The Look" and other Saturday scrimmage tidbits from the offense

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Tajh Boyd used
Tajh Boyd used "the look" to throw a TD pass to Martavis Bryant on Saturday. (TigerNet Staff)

CLEMSON – Clemson’s offense got the better of the defense in Saturday’s scrimmage in Death Valley, and one of quarterback Tajh Boyd’s four touchdown tosses came because of “the look.”

Boyd told the media following the scrimmage that his touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant came because of his increased comfort with the talented junior.

Boyd said the Tigers were driving inside the red zone and offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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called for a running play. However, Boyd noticed that Bryant had a 1-on-1 matchup with a young corner on the outside, and the play changed.

“I really didn’t have to say anything,” Boyd said. “I looked over there and saw he was 1-on-1 and we just looked at each other. He looked at me and did this [nodded his head] and I did this [nodded back] and I threw the ball out there to him. I mean, the guy is like 6-foot-6 and has all kinds of crazy athletic ability. I just let him go up and get it.”

I asked Boyd if the pass was a fade or a quick slant, and he smiled his trademark megawatt smile and said, “I can’t tell you that.”

*The day wasn’t entirely perfect for Boyd, however. He did throw one interception, and it went to the one player on the field he didn’t want to see get an interception – roommate and linebacker Quandon Christian.

Christian, out of Lake View High School, looked like he might have turned the corner against LSU in the bowl game, and he has drawn praise during fall camp. Saturday, Christian woke up begging his roommate for a gift.

"He was asking me before the scrimmage, he was saying, 'Tajh, all you have to do is give me a pick today and I'll be a happy guy.' I said, 'Nah. I can't do that,'" Boyd said.

However, Christian read a slant and picked off Boyd, returning the interception 47 yards to six-yard line.

"I know I won't hear the end of it now," a smiling Boyd told the media. "He did get tackled at the six-yard line, so I'm going to remind him that he got caught. I'm also going to tell him, 'Hey, I gave that one to you.'"

Boyd then said that Christian has been a different player so far in camp.

"Quandon is a senior now. He's a very good leader for our defense," he said. "I know our defense was encouraged by that today. And they're going to need him if we're going to have a great season."

*Bryant told the media that he spent the entire scrimmage at the boundary receiver position, while Sammy Watkins spent the scrimmage in his old slot position. The coaches mentioned during the spring that Watkins would move to the “9” or boundary position, but Bryant has seen most of the snaps there during the camp and Watkins has been back at the “2” spot.

*Watkins had two touchdown receptions – covering 65 and 39 yards – for his only two catches of the day.

“Tajh recognized the coverage and Coach Morris saw what was going on,” Watkins said. “They were in a Cover 1, and they just made the right call and got the ball to me.”

Watkins said that he has been impressed with freshman receiver Mike Williams, and sees big things for the South Carolina native in the very near future.

“He is young and just has a lot of raw talent,” Watkins said. “Give him two more weeks and he will be an elite receiver and making a lot of high-level plays. He has been making plays all summer. He has a little injury right now that is holding him back, but he is still grinding mentally.”

*It’s a well-known fact that Watkins suffered an injury in the bowl game against LSU when he took a shot to his ankle on a run up the middle. Watkins fumbled on the play – leading to an LSU touchdown – and never returned.

He said Saturday that fans shouldn’t expect to see him running up the middle this season.

“I think Coach Morris eliminated the runs up the middle,” he said. “You will see the jets (sweeps) and getting me out on the edge and things like that. Screen passes and things like that. I love the ball in my hands – I will run it, catch it or throw it and I think that Coach Morris will do what he can to get the ball in my hands.”

*Watkins said that his relationship with Boyd is getting better each day.

“We are getting better at recognizing coverages and knowing what the other one is thinking,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get out here against Georgia and see how we connect. We still have a long ways to go, but there is still time.”

*Boyd said that Saturday’s scrimmage showed the possibilities of Clemson’s new numbering system for plays. Boyd said that Morris said that the tempo Saturday was the best he has seen in a practice or scrimmage since he has been at Clemson.

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