Calm, cool and collected

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd started his weekly question and answer session with the media talking about what tie he's going to wear Saturday.

Last weekend Boyd wore pink, though he thought about wearing blue seer-sucker. This week the signal-caller hinted he might wear a white bow tie.

Some things don't change.

Though his maturity level this season has already hit new heights, Boyd's playful personality hasn't left. And that's a good thing. Headed into Furman this weekend, the Tigers sit at 2-0 and the offense is rolling.

Boyd finished Saturday's game against Ball State 19 of 23 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Through three halves of football, he's 43 of 57 for 437 yards and four touchdowns. Maybe more importantly, Boyd just looks like he has a better command of this offense than he did a year ago. He is in shape, looks like the type of dual threat that Morris needs to make this offense go, and is getting his weapons the ball efficiently. And, he says it's just the beginning.

"We're not nearly close to our peak. I feel like everything is going smoothly," said Boyd. We wanted to execute, play to our standard. We answered a lot of questions [Saturday]; people didn't know how we would respond after coming off a big win."

Had the first team offense stayed on the field Saturday, the Tigers were on track to score 90 points. It's the first time in school history Clemson has opened the season with back-to-back games of at least 500 yards on offense. Boyd has taken ownership of this team and he knows what it takes to be successful. One of the walls inside the Tigers' new dining hall reads, "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way… you will command the attention of the world." – George Washington Carver.

In other words, it's doing the little things well. Boyd's utilizing his hot reads, recognizing when to check down, and making smart decisions on the fly. He is becoming the second offensive coordinator on the field.

Boyd credits his success to preparation.

"It never happens on game day. It starts that week in practice," said Boyd. "One of the things that Coach emphasizes to us in practice is to win the day. Just go out there and have a great day in practice. Practice isn't always a fun thing, but it helps you grow. You are out there for 22 periods, it's a grueling day."

However, the defense hasn't quite hit the ground running like Boyd, pun intended.

Consider this: Through two games, Clemson averages 31 minutes of possession, opponents 28 minutes. Clemson has 474 yards on the ground, opponents have 432. Opponents are averaging 5.6 yards per carry, Clemson averages 5.2. Point being, there's not a wide gap in those numbers. Similar to last year, the offense doesn't have room for error. This time around though, will it be different? Can Boyd operate at a high level for all 12 games?

Boyd needs to stay focused, hungry and humble, but he also needs to stay loose, and if that means staying true to his playful side, then so be it. Boyd proved against Auburn he won't panic by turning one early mistake into a foreshadowing of the rest of the game. He is not just a leader of the offense this year; he's the leader of the team.

And he'll have to answer critics with consistent play on the field, doing it as confidently and poised as if he's in a seer-sucker bow tie. Top Stories