Clemson tapped ACC favorite
Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd doesn’t mind being considered an underdog.
He won’t have that luxury going into the upcoming ACC football season.
Boyd, who led the league in total offense and passing efficiency while setting a league season record for touchdown passes (36), was predicted to repeat as ACC player of the year while his Tigers were voted as the preseason choice to win the league championship game by media attending preseason media days at the Grandover Resort.
“I like the underdog role,” Boyd said on Sunday. “That’s how my life story was growing up. I love being the underdog because that gives you so much more motivation. At the same time, when you are on top, you’ve got to go out there and perform what you are capable of. You’ve got to go out and show you are that caliber player.”
Boyd, who enters the season with 8.053 passing yards and 73 touchdown passes, was named on 105 of 120 ballots. Miami running back Duke Johnson finished second with four votes. Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins got three apiece.
Boyd takes nothing for granted.
“You’ve got to go out and perform year to year,” Boyd said. “I’ve been pretty consistent statistically but it’s not about stats. I may have thrown for 800 more yards than Andrew Luck. But stats don’t mean anything. It’s how you go out and play the game, how you lead the program.”
The Tigers, who didn’t go to the championship game last year after tying Florida State for first place in the Atlantic Division at 7-1, were the overwhelming choice to win the league championship, getting 95 votes while the Seminoles were second with 15.
Clemson, which went 11-2 and finished 11th in the final Associated Press poll last season, was listed first in the Atlantic on 102 ballots while the Seminoles received the other 18. N.C. State was a distant third with Wake Forest fourth.
“It usually comes down to us and Florida State,” Boyd said. “When you get a chance to play opponents like that, it makes the game that much better.”
The Tigers must replace two vital components of their offense, running back Andre Ellington and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, both All-ACC selections.
Miami was the choice to win the Coastal Division after tying North Carolina and Georgia Tech for first last season. The Hurricanes received 65 votes to 27 for Virginia Tech, 22 for North Carolina and six for Georgia Tech. Duke wound up last among the seven teams.
“I want to thank you guys for doing that,” North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said. “Now, I’ve got to find a way to use that to my advantage the best way that I can.”