Clemson's Tajh Boyd can do better on little things, coach says

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If Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd were a pilot, it's safe to assume Tigers coach Dabo Swinney might not want to be on the plane.

Swinney used an interesting analogy when talking about Boyd sometimes losing focus on the field.

"Sometimes I think Tajh is too smart," Swinney told reporters this week. "He knows a lot of football. I've used the analogy with him of our two pilots [on the school plane]. Every time we get in the plane with them, they go through the same procedure, even if we've flown 10 times that day; they've got their deal and they're consistent with that.

"Tajh has a procedure, kind of a checklist of things he needs to do. Sometimes he just skips to step four just because he takes some things for granted. It's just a matter of getting him to focus on those things."

Clemson has simplified its offense of late, and it paid off last week with a 40-27 win over Maryland; the game wasn't as close as the final score indicates, as the Terps scored late to narrow the margin. Clemson had 551 yards of offense, the Tigers' third-highest total of the season.

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"That was the big deal for us last week," Swinney said. "We were still doing what we do, but we just cut out some of the level 104 things and went back to 101."

Clemson got off to a slow start in the win and came under some criticism from ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham. Swinney told reporters that on Sundays, he watches the previous day's broadcast but that he had trouble watching the Maryland game because the announcers were what he termed "real negative."

"One of the things I tell my players all the time, one of my favorite quotes ever, is, 'Don't let anybody walk through your mind with their dirty feet,' " Swinney said. "And I try to live by that."

The same broadcast crew will do Clemson's game against Virginia this weekend.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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