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Clemson QB Tajh Boyd looking to boost NFL draft stock in bowl

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.

He already has accepted an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl, but he told the Greenville (S.C.) News that he knows his performance in the Orange Bowl is important, as well.

"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 mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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