|Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press|
|Clemson senior QB Tajh Boyd has struggled against tough competition this season.|
Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd struggled in two regular-season matchups against teams that won at least 10 games, but he'll get another shot at a 10-win team in the Orange Bowl.
Boyd and the Tigers (10-2) meet Ohio State (12-1) on Jan. 3. Boyd averaged 289.4 passing yards per game this season, but threw for just 381 total, with one touchdown and four interceptions, in regular-season losses to Florida State (13-0) and South Carolina (10-2). While his season completion percentage was 67.6, his percentage in the two setbacks was 56.3.
"I think everything toward the end of this process is going to be a deciding factor in how high I go (in the 2014 draft)," he said.
Boyd will be throwing against an Ohio State secondary that has struggled this season. The defensive backfield was supposed to be a team strength, but instead it has been the team's weakest unit. Ohio State has allowed five quarterbacks to throw for 300 yards and surrendered 26 TD passes -- tied for 17th-most in the nation. And the Buckeyes haven't faced a pass-catch combo anywhere near as talented as Boyd and junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Boyd has 29 TD passes and nine interceptions this season; seven of the picks came in the final six regular-season games. Boyd played well in last season's bowl game, throwing for 346 yards and two touchdowns in an upset of LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.