Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/21/12
No matter what North Carolinas Giovani Bernard does Saturday vs. Maryland, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is the ACCs Player of the Year. Boyd moved into the lead with some amazingly productive performances earlier in the month and sealed the deal last Saturday, accounting for an ACC-record eight touchdowns in the Tigers 62-48 victory over North Carolina State. The previous mark was six by several players, including Boyd. In fact, the junior signal caller tied that mark two weeks earlier in a 56-20 rout at Duke. It was part of a string of performances rivaled by few players in ACC history culminating with Saturdays watershed afternoon. Boyd has passed for nearly 1,500 yards in No. 12 Clemsons last four contests. In that span, hes also tossed 18 touchdown passes and run for four, giving him an edge over Bernard. A redshirt sophomore, who ran for 1,253 yards last season, Bernard has certainly been outstanding. In particular, his 262-yard rushing performance against Virginia Tech and 303 all-purpose yards, which included a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown with 13 seconds remaining, to beat N.C. State have highlighted his season. Bernard, however, is affected in that he was injured in the opener and missed the next two games. He also had only two carries in a rout of Idaho, and after five games the Florida native had just 29 rushing attempts. Even still, Bernard has rushed for 1,065 yards averaging 6.8 yards per attempt and has caught 42 passes for 458 yards. He has also scored 18 touchdowns, including two on punt returns and five on pass receptions. With a big game versus the Terrapins this weekend, Bernard would normally be a worthy player of the year. But Boyds season has been more spectacular and hes guiding a top-10 club. I dont think theres any doubt Tajh Boyd is the difference in this team, said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Hes a much better quarterback than he was at this time last year. He was a good player last year, but he wasnt a great quarterback. Hes a much better quarterback. Thats one of the main reasons were 10-1. Boyd is second in the ACC averaging 306 yards passing per contest; three yards per-game behind N.C. States Mike Glennon. But Boyd has completed 68 percent of his pass attempts compared to 57 percent for Glennon. Boyds figures 3,367 yards and 33 touchdown passes are among the top totals for ACC quarterbacks that have won the leagues top individual honor. The only more prolific passers to win the award were Boston Colleges Matt Ryan in 2007 (4,507 yards) and N.C. States Philip Rivers in 2003 (4,491 yards). Twelve quarterbacks have been so honored since 1990. Two have won the Heisman Trophy in those seasons Florida States Charlie Ward in 1993 and Chris Weinke in 2000. And some others, including Virginias Matt Schaub, Georgia Techs Joe Hamilton, who finished second in the Heisman voting in 1999, and Virginias Shawn Moore, who was fourth in the Heisman balloting in 1990, posted numbers similar to Boyds given their eras. Hamilton and Moore were also accomplished scramblers. Boyd, who lost around 12 pounds in the offseason, improved his quickness just enough to become a legitimate threat with his feet. Not only is he technically executing the role of quarterback by staying in the pocket and not adlibbing as quickly on plays as he did a year ago, which Swinney ways was a point of emphasis in the spring and summer, but Boyd has also finally learned to trust his legs. Hence, hes even more dangerous than earlier in the season, courtesy of his growing confidence. The Virginia Beach native has run for 466 yards and eight scores, and with a subpar game this weekend at home versus hated rival South Carolina, Boyd likely will still finish the regular season with more than 4,000 total yards. Boyds new weapon has helped him hit on more long pass plays because defenses are respecting his legs more. In fact, he has connected on 54 percent of his passes of 21 or more yards, a reason he has passed the 300-yard passing mark in six games thus far. In dispatching the Wolfpack, Boyd ran for 103 yards, passing the century mark for the first time in his college career. Im so excited to get a win, Boyd said, but the 100 yards rushing is probably my most proud moment. Boyd has two more opportunities this season to have proud moments, and maybe he will return next fall to deliver Tigers fans more thrills. No matter what, though, he will be the seasons ACC Player of the Year.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

Panthers LB wants 'clown' Rodney Harrison off the air

Jason Reid: Tom Brady will play at least three more years

Kirk Cousins says he has ‘very good relationship’ with RG3

Super Bowl 50 ticket prices are insane

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker