Three is enough: Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins eclipsing 4-year totals of Rivers, Kelly

Boyd neck-and-neck with Peyton Manning in numerous career categories

Football  - Tajh Boyd passes to Sammy Watkins

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Tajh Boyd passes to Sammy Watkins

Tajh Boyd has already claimed many of Philip Rivers' ACC passing records, and he'll have a chance for another on Saturday.

A 300-yard passing performance would be the 18th of Boyd's career, and would tie Rivers' ACC record. Two 300-yard games in his final three college games would give him the record outright.

Boyd needs three more touchdown passes to hit the 100-mark in his career - a milestone recorded just 17 times in college football history. With his next touchdown pass, he'll double Charlie Whitehurst's previous Clemson record of 49 touchdown passes.

Like Boyd, Sammy Watkins is closing in on a pair of records. He needs just seven receiving yards to eclipse DeAndre Hopkins' year-old Clemson record of 3,020, which broke Aaron Kelly's previous record of 2,733.

Watkins needs 23 more receptions to break Kelly's Clemson record for catches. He currently has 210 and stands in second place, having moved past Hopkins' total of 206. Kelly's total of 232 stood as the ACC's record for four years, before being broken last season by Duke's Conner Vernon (283).

As impressive as the numbers posted by Boyd and Watkins are, Dabo Swinney pointed out Tuesday that what's most remarkable is the two Tigers have compiled their record-breaking totals in just three seasons, compared to four years for N.C. State's Rivers and Clemson's Kelly and Whitehurst.

"The production has just been unbelievable," Swinney said. "Sammy has three games left for sure, and he has a chance to break Aaron Kelly's record that he set in four years, and it's the same thing with Tajh...A lot of these records of Philip Rivers were set in four years, and Tajh has done it in three. That's pretty impressive."

In this week's pre-game notes, Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret produced a comparison of Boyd's career to that of Peyton Manning, who quarterbacked Tennesee for four seasons.

Manning was 39-6 as the Vols' starter, while Boyd is 30-7 at the helm of the Tigers.

Boyd holds an edge in passing efficiency (153.5 to 146.8), yards per attempt (8.43 to 8.05), yards per completion 13.27 to 12.85), TD passes per game (2.2 to 2.0), TD responsibility per game (2.75 to 2.25), touchdown passes (97 to 96), and completion percentage (.635 to .627).

Manning has the advantage in passing yards per game (252.4 to 250.3), attempts per game (31.4 to 29.7), and completions per game (19.7 to 19.0).

Manning recorded 10 victories over top-25 opponents, while Boyd has seven. Boyd has a 4-2 edge in victories over top-10 teams.

"A lot of times you don't fully appreciate what you have until its gone," Swinney said. "You just kind of get used to it. He makes it look easy, but the throws he makes and the consistency he's played with is not easy. And the pressure that he's dealt with is not easy.

"I have great appreciation for Tajh Boyd and what he's meant to our program."

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Comments » 1

DahlonegaJoe writes:

Good points. It is easy for us fans to lose perspective on what Tajh and Sammy have achieved. As the season peaks out in the next 11 days and we head for a bowl game in the new year., we need to appreciate what they and the whole team and staff have achieved….including bringing us to another plateau that we can now hold the next generation of players accountable.
Winning brings this expected level of performance.

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