Boyd keeps his head despite helmet issues

by - Senior Writer -

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

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will have a new helmet this week when he takes the field against Ball St. in the Tigers’ home opener, one that will be designed to fit a little tighter and stay on, even when 300-pound defensive linemen are trying to rip it – and his head – off.

Boyd “lost” his helmet three times against Auburn in last week’s season opener at the Georgia Dome, and under new rules changes, had to sit out the play after the helmet is dislodged.

Boyd told TigerNet this week that trying to keep his helmet in the right place was a struggle he had to endure the entire game.

“It was crazy. But, you just have to go with it,” Boyd said. “Sometimes, I had to hold it down, and I was like, “No, you aren’t getting it off.’ They weren’t trying to rip it off on every play, but if it was an important situation in the game and you can get a player out for a play, that works for some people.”

Boyd said it was a lesson in practicality over looks.

“That is where I have to know the situation,” he said. “Sometimes, I try to get pretty, make sure this looks good and that looks good. But Coach [Dabo] Swinney has preached about it. It was to the point where I needed to be out there and I wasn’t out there for four or five plays.”

Boyd said the helmet issue even affected his vision.

“The helmet coming down affected my vision, somewhat,” he said. “It wasn’t somebody poking me in the eye. You get hit a certain way, and the pad hits you in the eye. At one point, I was like, ‘I can’t see coach.’ But I just had to work through it.”

Despite the helmet concerns, Boyd showed even more of his growth in the fourth quarter of the game, changing a run play to a pass play that turned into a touchdown.

Facing a first-and-goal from the Auburn four-yard line and needing a touchdown, offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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called a run play.

As Boyd approached the line of scrimmage, he noticed the cornerback creeping up on wide receiver Nuk Hopkins.

“We walk up to the line, and I am debating whether I should run it or throw it,” he said. “I see the corner pressed up, and I looked over at Nuk and he glanced up at me and we just knew. We threw the fade up there, and I just had to put it in a spot. It is one of those things that come naturally to Nuk. The guy was holding him and he just made an unbelievable play.”

Boyd said that Morris has given him the latitude to audible out of a play if he sees something in the defense.

“Coach Morris gives me a lot of room to change, get out of certain plays,” Boyd said. “I don’t want to get to the point where I’m not doing the right things. I try to put the team in the best position possible.”

He also said that it is a point of pride to beat one-on-one coverage.

“We look at it like it’s disrespect,” he said. “We feel we’ve got some of the best players in country. Put them one on one, we’re going to test whoever’s out there. They’re going to press, we’re going to see what they’ve got out there.”

Boyd also eschewed downfield throws for check-downs throughout the game, showing yet another improvement in his game.

“If you see them playing ten yards off the ball, then we will take the five,” he said. “That is easy money. One of the things I felt like I had to learn was taking what the defense gives you. They did a great job of not allowing too many deep plays and letting guys get open. We just took what they gave us.”

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