Unfamiliar territory

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd, a two-time state champion at Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., is still learning how to lose.

Phoebus was 43-2 with Boyd as the starting quarterback. Until last Saturday's 31-17 loss to Georgia Tech, he was 8-0 as the starter at Clemson.

"It's definitely disappointing. You don't ever expect to lose, honestly, especially when you can kind of control what's going on," he said. "One loss is enough for me. I don't plan on losing anymore. That's how I'll take it from there. It's just one of those things, you keep growing and keep working."

But it's not as if he's trying to get the hang of it.

For Boyd, there's only one other thing worse than not winning a football game.

"Personally, it's to the point of death in the family and [then] losing a football game, as the most devastating things," he said. "Other than that, the rest of my life is whatever -- whatever comes, whatever happens. Those two things are kind of hard to deal with."

Saturday's loss, though disappointing, could help Boyd and his teammates as they make a push towards a second ACC Atlantic title in three years.

"I feel like we'll come back, probably a little bit stronger, probably a little bit more hungry than we were before," he said. "It was almost to the point where you do kind of have a sense of where you're invincible."

FUNDAMENTAL BREAKDOWN: Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris noted that Boyd's fundamentals weren't always up to par on Saturday.

"There were times he wasn't setting his feet like it needed to be set, especially some of the throws out to the flats -- the little flare routes, check downs," Morris said. "His feet weren't set. He was throwing side arm and the ball was sailing on him or was behind a running back."

There were a number of things that led to the mistakes. Sometimes, Boyd said, he took the details for granted.

"The easiest passes are sometimes the hardest passes to throw. You see him wide-open and the ball sails."

Morris, who's a stickler when it comes to fundamentals, thought Boyd's performance [23 of 40 for 295 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown] wasn't his brightest.

"He's played a lot better, and he was disappointed, just like everybody else was," Morris said.

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY: This could be Boyd's last season at Clemson. The redshirt sophomore is eligible to forego his final two season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

Boyd, who's the 16th most efficient quarterback in all of college football, has completed 195 of 318 throws for 2,674 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions this season.

However, sending papers to the NFL Draft Advisory Board seems too far away for him to even consider.

"I don't even want to think about it at this point," Boyd said. "It's a possibility. Right now, we've definitely got to focus on this Wake game and keep working from there... I'll just try to see where I'm at right now."

Still, he's well aware of the opportunity.

"You have guys leave early like that. But actually playing, you kind of feel like you do need time to develop as a quarterback," Boyd said. "You can kind of see why Andrew Luck comes back. Maybe it's to win, maybe it's to develop as a player."

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