Clemson places six on All-ACC first team offense

Tajh Boyd runs out of a tackle in the fourth quarter

Photo by Mark Crammer

Tajh Boyd runs out of a tackle in the fourth quarter

— In Chad Morris’ second season as offensive coordinator, Clemson’s offense really found its stride. The Tigers are sixth nationally in scoring offense at 42.3 ppg, eighth in total offense at 518.3 ypg, and 13th in passing offense at 319.5 ypg.

Saturday’s 27-17 loss to South Carolina marked the first time in 10 games that Clemson hadn’t scored at least 37 points, an ACC record.

ACC media members recognized the Tigers’ offensive prowess, too. When the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association released its All-ACC teams Monday, Clemson had six of the 11 first-team offenisve selections.

Junior quarterback Tajh Boyd, senior center Dalton Freeman, junior wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, senior tight end Brandon Ford and junior left tackle Brandon Thomas were all first-team selections.

Junior kicker Chandler Catanzaro and senior safety Rashard Hall were second-team picks, while senior defensive end Malliciah Goodman and sophomore wideout Sammy Watkins were honorable-mention selections.

It is the first time in Clemson history with six first-team offensive selections, and the first time an ACC team has done it since Florida State in 1995.

Boyd and Freeman are two-time first-team selections, while Catanzaro is a second-team pick for the second consecutive season. Freeman is the first Clemson center to be named first-team All-ACC in two consecutive seasons, and Boyd accomplished the feat for the first time since Steve Fuller in 1977-78.

Boyd sports a 168.5 pass efficiency rating, which leads the ACC and is fourth-best nationally. He has thrown for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns, adding nine rushing scores – he’s the Tigers’ second-leading rusher, behind Ellington. He is tied for No.1 nationally in touchdown responsibility, with 43, and is eighth nationally in total offense at 336.8 yards per game.

Freeman is the program’s total snaps leader at 3,267, passing former teammate Landon Walker two weeks ago. He is Clemson’s first four-year starter at center since 1948 and has started 48 consecutive games. He’s the Tigers’ only senior line starter, marking the first time Clemson has won 10 games with one senior line starter since 1989.

Hopkins leads the ACC with 1,214 receiving yards; he’s five yards shy of Watkins’ single-season record, set last season. His 16 touchdowns rank second nationally, and he has already set Clemson single-season and career records for receiving touchdowns. He has also tied the league record for most consecutive games with a touchdown catch (nine), a mark he could break in the Tigers’ bowl game.

Ellington has 1,031 rushing yards this season, second-best in the ACC behind fellow first-teamer Gio Bernard of North Carolina. He is the fourth player in CU history with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Ford has 31 receptions for 411 yards and eight touchdowns this season; he’s second nationally in touchdowns by a tight end. That ties current Indianapolis Colt and John Mackey Award winner Dwayne Allen’s mark set a year ago. Coupled with Michael Palmer in 2009, the Tigers have had the first-team All-ACC tight end three of the past four years.

Thomas made a successful move from left guard to left tackle as a junior.

Hall recovered from offseason knee microfracture surgery to make four interceptions; he is third in Clemson history with 17 career takeaways.

Catanzaro made 16 of 17 field goals this season and is 54 of 55 on extra points. He recently ended a string of 20 consecutive made field goals dating back to last season, a Clemson program record.

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Comments » 3

Tiger79 writes:

Sounds great and congrats, just wished those guys and that offense were in Death Valley against the Gamecocks.

TRUETIGER1 writes:

Keep telling yourself how good we are.

tigerdh writes:

Congratulations to the guys. Ten wins is good but we need to work on putting sc game amoung the ten next year. Losing to that crew gets old.

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