Tajh Boyd's second-half success leading nation's second-most improved offense

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd  and Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins celebrate after the two connected for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd and Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins celebrate after the two connected for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Last season to this one, the offensive production has obviously spiked up, but where do the Tigers fall nationally?

Clemson ranks as the second-most improved offense in the nation, only to fellow 2010 Meineke Bowl participant South Florida, but of the top-10 most improved, having the best record of the group.

Only Houston (7-0) matches Clemson in winning percentage, and the bottom four of the list are under .500 (Kansas, New Mexico State, Washington State and Utah State).

By wins at this point in each of the last two seasons, Clemson leads the way with a four-win improvement – South Florida is right where they were last season at 4-3, as the next nearest to Clemson is the three-game improvement from Houston (4-3 to 7-0).

The Tigers have bolstered their offense by 16.6 points (up 69.2 percent), 147.9 total yards (up 44.2 percent), 39.9 rushing yards (up 28.7 percent) and 108 passing yards (up 55.2 percent) per game.

Additionally, Clemson is better by two touchdowns (up 66.7 percent), 1.15 yards per play (up 17.6 percent), 41.29 passing efficiency (up 35.8 percent), 5.9 first downs (up 32.7 percent) and down 0.7 turnovers (down 34.5 percent) per game.

Where the Tigers struggled last year to this year, Tajh Boyd has had similar “struggles” (if you can say that) from the first half to the second half in games this season.

Boyd has completed 57.1 of his first half passes to 69.1 in the second half, with 58 more first half attempts (168 to 110).

The sophomore first-year starter has yet to throw an interception in the second half at 10.74 yards per attempt and a 198.28 passing efficiency.

In the first two quarters, Boyd has thrown for 1,198 yards, 11 touchdowns to three interceptions and moved the ball 7.13 yards per attempt.

This second-half success hasn’t just been against weaker teams earlier in the season either. Over the last two games, Boyd has completed 23-of-31 second-half passes for 332 yards and six touchdowns.

Against UNC, he hit 10-of-14 just in the third quarter for 160 yards and three touchdowns.

Tajh Boyd on night game and GT


Two weeks ago on the road at Maryland, Boyd completed 13-of-17 for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers’ gunslinger is tied with Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore for the national lead in touchdown passes (24), and his three interceptions rank second nationally among QBs attempting at least 22 passes per game.

Boyd leads the ACC by far in passing average per game at 297.4 yards to the nearest conference signal-caller Tanner Price from Wake Forest, who’s throwing for 260.1 per game.

He ranks second in the conference in passing efficiency to UNC’s Bryn Renner (166.4 to 160.1), but with 75 more pass attempts (278 to 203). Duke’s Sean Renfree is the only other ACC quarterback that’s close on attempts with 274, and completing passes at a 67.9 percent clip (second-best in the conference).

Category 1st half 2nd half
Completions 96 76
Attempts 168 110
Yards 1,198 1,181
TDs to INTs 11-3 13-0
Cmp. Pct. 57.1% 69.1%
Yards/Attempt 7.13 10.74
Yards/Completion 12.48 15.54
Pass Efficiency 135.08 198.28

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