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Clemson QB Tajh Boyd trying to become more productive passer


Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd is completing 62.2 percent of his passes through three games, but neither he nor his coaches are satisfied.

Boyd hit 67.2 percent of his passes last season and his completion percentages in the first three games this season were worse than in all but three games last fall. Boyd is 56 of 90 for 683 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. His 227.7 yards-per-game average is a far cry from last season's per-game average of 299.7.

Still, he guided Clemson to one of this season's biggest wins, a season-opening victory over Georgia, and he remains near the top of most Heisman lists. But he can play better.

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"You just try to deal with things like that; it's going to happen through the course of the season," offensive coordinator Chad Morris told the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier. "He hasn't had too many of those times in his career like that. It's just something you learn from."

In the second half of last week's win at North Carolina State, Boyd was 9 of 11 for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

"In this offense and the position I'm in, rhythm is everything," Boyd told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. "I think we got that in the second half. I think that it will continue with this stretch that we have."

Boyd's next outing is Saturday against Wake Forest, which is allowing foes to complete 59.2 percent of their passes and surrendering only 143.2 passing yards per game. But Wake has played Presbyterian, Boston College, Louisiana-Monroe and Army, and none of them have anything that remotely resembles Clemson's passing attack.

Boyd torched Wake for 428 yards and five TDs last season, completing 71.1 percent of his 38 attempts, and he threw for 343 yards and two TDs with a 62.8 completion percentage against the Demon Deacons in 2011.

After Wake, the Tigers play Syracuse and Boston College before Florida State visits Oct. 19 in the ACC's game of the year.

Boyd has 9,591 total yards and needs 173 more to become Clemson's career total yardage leader, which would put him ahead of Charlie Whitehurst. Boyd also needs to throw for 264 yards to surpass the 9,000-yard plateau in career passing; only five ACC quarterbacks ever have reached that mark. He has 79 career TD passes, tied for second in ACC history with former Florida State Heisman winner Chris Weinke. North Carolina State's Philip Rivers is first with 95.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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