Tag:Tajh Boyd
Posted on: December 31, 2010 5:54 pm
 

Bowl Grades: Meineke Car Care Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

South Florida weathered a late charge by Clemson to win, 31-26.

South Florida

Offense: From a productivity standpoint, B.J. Daniels regressed substantially this year from his brilliant freshman campaign; his passing rating was down 20 points, and he rushed for over 500 fewer yards on the season. Not surprisingly, the Bulls' scoring dropped three points a game from last year. So it was nice to see Daniels put together a solid performance today, going 19-26 for two scores and rushing for another touchdown. At one point, Daniels completed 10 straight passes on the day. The running game was generally ineffective, with the Bulls' 38 rushes netting only 90 yards, but the ground attack helped open up passing lanes for Daniels. Grade: B

Defense: There might not be another team in the country that runs as many screens as Clemson, and to USF's credit, that screen game didn't exactly take off today. USF also swallowed up the run game, allowing just 50 yards on 27 carries. Of course, giving up 26 points isn't exactly a point of pride and there's no telling what would have happened if that last onside kick had gone another two feet before being recovered, but still. Grade: B

Coaching: There wasn't anything terribly special about Skip Holtz and his gameday coaching, which is really what fans should want to see: no surprises from the sideline. In that respect he did a good job, and the aforementioned defensive successes against the run and screen passing games indicate solid preparatory work coming into the game. Holtz probably needs to get his team's onside kick return game fixed, but he's got all offseason to work on that. Grade: A

Clemson

Offense: It's hard to say whether South Florida or Clemson fans were more upset to see Kyle Parker leave the game with broken ribs; Parker's a fine quarterback who'll probably have a stellar career with the Colorado Rockies. He also single-handedly made his touchdown pass happen by scrambling away from pressure and finding his running back wide open on a check-down for the score. And yet, he also threw two picks and was brutally inconsistent. So was Tajh Boyd in relief, but at least Boyd threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Still, Dabo Swinney needs to figure out a way to get Jamie Harper some help in the run game; he rushed for all of 34 yards today and really never got free. That can't happen in a big game. Grade: C

Defense: It's something of an oddity that Clemson gave up 31 points; the Tiger defense was fast enough to keep USF from turning the corner on the sidelines, as the Bulls tried routinely. And yet, when USF got down to it and threw the ball downfield or rushed between the tackles, it encountered little resistance. Clemson has got to tighten up on defense if it ever wants to make the leap. Grade: C-

Coaching: I was ready to praise Dabo Swinney at the half when he decided to go for it on 4th and 7 near midfield late in the half, and was rewarded with a big play and eventually a touchdown. He then kicked an extra point rather than trying to get the game to within three points at the break, which was also the right call. Those are decisions that coaches routinely screw up and Swinney got them right.

And yet, he also called two punts in the fourth quarter -- one on a 4th and 1, which, WHY?! -- and his decision to go for two on Clemson's first touchdown of the fourth quarter trying to get the Tigers to within 10 meant Clemson couldn't afford to kick a field goal for the rest of the game. Yes, Georgia would have eventually needed that conversion, but conversions should be delayed until necessary in order to keep as many scoring options on the table during a comeback. And last, kicker Richard Jackson is apparently Clemson's onside specialist, and he put up two absolutely beautiful onside kicks in the fourth quarter. And with a weapon like that on special teams, why not use him all the time? Serious question. If you can reliably recover half or even a third of your onside kicks, that is an absolute game-changer. Do something with it! Grade: C

Final Grade

Today's game was about what people should have expected coming in: a slapfight between two physically talented but inconsistent and untrustworthy teams. Nothing was particularly impressive about the game, short of Clemson's near-comeback thanks to Boyd and Jackson. In fact, I'm still bitter that Swinney doesn't use Jackson on every single kickoff. It's like playing make-it-take-it! C'mon, Clemson! Grade: B-

Posted on: November 29, 2010 2:12 pm
 

Has Kyle Parker played his last snap at Clemson?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Kyle Parker told the Colorado Rockies he was going to play his senior year at Clemson before signing his professional baseball contract -- costing himself a year's worth of multi-million dollar salary in the process and risking his entire diamond career in the event of injury -- there's no doubt he didn't foresee his Tigers stumbling to a disappointing 6-6 record, or finishing his career with mediocre numbers like a 57.1 completion percentage, 12-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and 6.4 yards-per-attempt average for the season.

But this weekend's -- now apparent -- end to his time in Clemson must be worse than even Parker's worst nightmares. He was benched for redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd towards the end of Saturday's ugly 29-7 home loss to archrival South Carolina and did not return, leaving the game having gone a hideous 7-of-17 for just 117 yards and one interception duly returned by the Gamecocks for an easy touchdown.

So no one would blame Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney for making the decision to start the Boyd era in the Tigers' bowl game based on performance alone; with so little to play for, getting his certain 2011 starter as much experience as possible seems like at least as big a priority than trying to nab a largely meaningless seventh win in the Independence Bowl . But it's possible Parker's performance in the classroom has made that decision for him. Clemson Rivals site TigerIllustrated is reporting that Parker could be declared academically ineligible and be forced to miss his team's postseason game.

That's yet to be confirmed by any second media outlet (that we're aware of as of this posting), but it doesn't change the fact that all indications are that Kyle Parker has started his final game -- and has maybe even played his last down -- for the Tigers. When top college athletes turn down gobs of professional money to stay amateur, help their teammates, finish their commitment to their school, etc., it makes for a much more heartwarming story to see that decision pay off in stirring victories and rousing vindication. But this being the real world, sometimes that decision is going to end in heartbreak and disappointment, and it looks for all the world like that's how it's going to end for Parker.

 
 
 
 
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