This season should have been about more than personal achievements for Tajh Boyd, but Clemson lost to Florida State and lost their chance of doing something really special. Beating Georgia Tech 55-31 was a chance for the senior quarterback to throw four touchdown passes and set a new career ACC record, but the Tigers will once again fell like this is a season that could have been about more.
Improving to 9-1, including 7-1 in conference play, the game was over once the players came down the hill. Georgia Tech scored their first points only after Clemson were up by 20 points, and from there it was just a sea-saw game of no defenses and opportunities to score. Boyd connected with Watkins on a 41-yard touchdown pass, the wide receivers 14th offensive touchdown of at least 40 yards, the second most among wide receivers during the last 3 seasons following Tevin Reese with 21.
For Boyd, it was also his 17th game of over 300 passing yards, finishing it with 340, completing 20-of-26 passes. Martvais Bryant caught 5 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown while Watkins finished with 104 yards and two scores, passing the 1000 receiving yards for the second time in his career.
Georgia Tech have been somewhat of a problem for Clemson in recent years, as the triple-option offense Paul Johnson loves helped them win four of the last six meeting between the two teams. Clemson forced three consecutive three-and-outs to open the game, not allowing a first down until the second quarter.
It was the most points Clemson scored on Georgia Tech since winning 73-0 in 1903 when John Heisman was still coaching Clemson, a year before he left to coach Georgia Tech. It was the first Thursday night game for Clemson in 11 years, and it was the last night game for Boyd in Memorial stadium. He did however look like he wasn’t going to finish the game after hurting his left collarbone in the third quarter. He was taken off and wanted to go back in, but there was really no need for heroics
If it was a dire situation I felt like I needed to play, I felt like I could’ve. But we were in a situation where it wasn’t needed. I’m not going to miss my last game in the valley either (against Citadel). I’ll throw a pad in there and I’ll be fine.
Georgia Tech aren’t going to play in the ACC championship game like last year, having Alabama A&M and Georgia left to play on the schedule, finishing behind Virginia Tech unless the Hokies mess up against Maryland and Virginia, which seems quite unlikely considering they’re a combined 1-10 in conference play this season. For Clemson, who are now 8th in the BCS standings, it’s bout not dropping the ball against South Carolina, hoping they get invited to a BCS bowl, and not letting the bad memories from their previous visit to one (that game against West Virginia) get in the way of finishing the season strong.