Lofty expectations

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd can't help but get frustrated when he has games like last weekend's performance against Virginia Tech.

Under the tutelage of second-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris, Boyd believes the Clemson offense is unstoppable.

But when games like Saturdays creep up, Boyd is reeled back into reality.

"I've become so accustomed to it and get the expectation to get there at will, whenever you want to, when it doesn't happen like that, you've kind of got to let the game come to you and let the game flow, find your rhythm," Boyd said. "You get to the point where sometimes you press it and start to do things that you ordinarily wouldn't do."

Boyd completed less than half of his 21 passes for 160 yards with one touchdown and interception. Frustration mounted through the course of the afternoon against the Hokies.

"It's tough because you just want to go out there and complete every pass," he said. "Before the game, I was like, ‘I'm going to complete every pass.' It never works out the way you think it is."

Confidence isn't a bad thing. And Boyd certainly has it in spades.

"I feel like it's routine. All summer, all practice, you get to the point where you can make the throws all the time, you complete every pass," he said.

Boyd looks forward to bouncing back with a quick turnaround trip up to Winston-Salem, N.C.

This week's game versus Wake Forest offers more than a chance for Clemson to improve this season's record to 7-1.

"It's just another opportunity for us to change the culture a little bit," Boyd said. "That's kind of the way we look at it."

Around Tigertown, the Thursday trend is ugly. Clemson is 1-9 in the ESPN Thursday night packaged games, including a 2008 defeat at Wake Forest that changed the course of the Tigers' program.

Boyd anticipates this week's game to be another tough showdown with the Demon Deacons.

"It doesn't matter who you play. When you play a team in an away game, especially at night, you've got to go out there and lay the chips out early," he said. "If not, you make a mistake and momentum shifts. It's all about momentum in away games, especially at night, so you've got to control it as much as possible."

Thursday night provides another opportunity for Clemson to control its national perception.

"For us, we look at it as another opportunity to play in front of the national spotlight and show the identity that Clemson has and show the type of team that we're capable of being," Boyd said.

And much of that rests in the hands of the quarterback.

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