Darlings of the college football world, Clemson blew into Atlanta with an 8-0 record, ranked the No. 5 team in the country. The Tigers left town defeated, beaten down after the 31-17 result.
"It was an awful loss. My house got egged as a result," Boyd said, trying to crack a smile. "I think coming into the game, there were a lot of factors that led to us having what looked like a big head…I just don't think we came to the game with the same intensity that we should have."
The game brought Boyd and company back to reality. He finished the night 23 of 40 passing for 295 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
It kick started a multi-game slump by Boyd, who continued the slide through the end of the regular season. Over the next three games, Boyd threw three touchdowns and had five interceptions.
Despite the poor stretch, it helped him mature and take the next step in his development as a quarterback.
"[It was] a great learning experience," Boyd said. "Personally, I learned a lot from it…before that game, I was sitting there watching ESPN and the Heisman race. I was looking at my stats, compared to Cam Newton's stats.
"All that stuff goes into the game and how you approach it. One of the reasons I don't really watch TV before the game, unless it's cartoons, I try not to get involved with everything else. All you can do is go out there and do what you're capable of doing and playing to your potential."
Like last year, Georgia Tech enters this season's game on a two-game losing streak.
"I don't think that's the same team we're going to see this weekend, coming into this game," Boyd said. "Big game for these guys, it's a big game for us. We've just got to come out ready to play, ready to execute our game plan.
"I'm sure Al Groh is going to do a great job of getting his guys prepared. I'm just excited for this game. This is one of our rival games. They're going to be pumped up to play, and so are we."
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