In Review: Tajh Boyd's season by the numbers

Clemson's Tajh Boyd takes a snap during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Tajh Boyd takes a snap during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

In the long summer, we took a stab at what was next for the Clemson offense this season. Marty Coleman and I did projections that included the bowl season for total offense and individual players.

Here's a shortened version of what we forecasted for Tigers senior signal-caller Tajh Boyd (full here)...

"1. Rushing yards up, slightly – Passing as much as he did, with sacks counting against him in NCAA stats, averaging 2.8 yards per carry last season was pretty stout – and he took a beating for it from defenses...He is a passer-first, and as we saw last year, more than capable of escaping the pocket for a key first down.

2. Passing yards per game down, slightly – Last season was really good, and he’s losing the sure-handed DeAndre Hopkins, who accounted for 88 yards per game over the last two seasons. The gap won’t be too wide, but it will show up in some games. Second, the schedule is a bit easier this year, and while Heisman numbers will be in mind, can’t imagine Chad Morris and co. will be risking injury in the two FCS games on the schedule this season.

3. That said, expect the long-awaited seat in NYC – In 2011, Baylor's Robert Griffin III accounted for 5,007 yards (4,293 passing) and 47 touchdowns – averaging 10.7 yards per pass and rushing for 699 yards en route to taking home the trophy. We’re looking at an ACC record 4,700-plus yards and 44 touchdowns for the Clemson senior (In our breakout example, Boyd would top almost all of RGIII’s numbers). Despite Manziel’s youth movement, senior QBs are often rewarded with the trip after big seasons. Ten quarterbacks have been Heisman finalists over the last four seasons – five have been seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and one freshman. Another standout year and he’s there – a great season and he’s coming home with some history-making hardware."

Marty Coleman, Seldom Used Reserve

"The natural tendency is to believe (his) numbers will increase again this year as Boyd enters his senior season with nearly 2,000 snaps in the Chad Morris offense and the majority of his line and receivers returning.

I’m not so sure for two reasons. First, DeAndre Hopkins is a Houston Texan. Second, Boyd’s health should be of the utmost importance, both for the sake of the team and for the sake of Boyd’s future...Boyd’s numbers will again be spectacular, but take a slight step back from 2012 assuming the Tigers play 13 games as they did last season. If Boyd and the Tigers play 14 games, 4,000 yards is possible."

And what actually happened...

2013 Forecasts/Results (12 games)

2013 Prediction (Rink): 33.4 attempts per/66.5 cmp%/293 passing per game/8.76 yards per attempt/30 TDs-9 INTs

2013 Prediction (Coleman): 34 attempts per/63.17 cmp%/286 passing per game/8.34 YPA/31 TDs-11 INTs

2013 Season (12 games): 31 attempts per/67.6 cmp%/289.4 passing per game/9.3 YPA/29 TDs-9 INTs

Analysis: Boyd was just about in the middle of our outlooks in terms of yards and just about spot on in touchdowns and interceptions. He did outperform the completion percentage numbers after a rough start of the year in that area.

Obviously, the numbers weren't worthy of a NYC trip - for one, he wasn't best quarterback in the ACC, and two, he didn't win the bulk of the big games on the Tigers' schedule. That said, you can't discount the three-year run he's been on - unparalleled in Clemson and ACC history in stats and wins.

Circling back to this season, his numbers did slip from 2012.

2012 (13 games): 959 snaps – 67.2 cmp% - 3,896 PY (299.69 per game) – 36 TD/13 INT – 514 RY/10 TDs – 46 total TDs

What's interesting about that regular season was the balance, 148 pass attempts to the left (70.3 cmp%) and 149 to the right (64.4 cmp%) and a field-best 10.1 yards per attempt up the middle.

So far this season, 47.5 percent of Boyd's throws have gone to his strongside, but he's also thrown 7-of-9 interceptions to the right. The Hampton, Va. product has only completed 51 percent of throws over the middle. In 35 less completions, he's passed for as many scores (13) left to right.

After a rough October (63.8 cmp%, 5 picks), Boyd finished November with a 199.02 QB rating, averaging 307.5 passing yards per game. On the road, he completed over 70 percent (71.4) for 321 per.

What did drop significantly was his run effectiveness.

Last year, the Tiger QB had 10 games with at least 50 yards gained (nine with double-digit carries). Those 50-yard-plus games have been cut by more than half (4) in seven contests with double-digit attempts. Factoring sacks, his per carry average dropped by almost a yard (0.72).

Late-season injuries certainly played a factor, finishing with almost five percent less of the carries (4.8) than '12. Boyd's still punched in his share of scores, however, with a career-best touchdown every 14.9 carries.

Season-to-season totals as a starter

2011 (14 games): 997 snaps – 59.7 cmp% - 3,828 passing yards (273.42 per game) – 33 TD/12 INT – 218 rushing yards/5 TDs – 38 total TDs

2012 (13 games): 959 snaps – 67.2 cmp% - 3,896 PY (299.69 per game) – 36 TD/13 INT – 514 RY/10 TDs – 46 total TDs

2013 (12 games): 788 snaps – 67.6 cmp% - 3,473 PY (289.4 per game) – 29 TD/9 INT – 284 RY/9 TDs – 38 total TDs

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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