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Tajh Boyd's Updated 2013 Heisman Outlook After Loss to Florida State

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19: Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers looks to pass during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Smith/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2016

Tajh Boyd didn't look like a fifth-year senior vying for a Heisman Trophy Saturday night against Florida State.

Instead, Boyd was outplayed in every way, shape and form by his counterpart, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston as Clemson was demolished 51-14 in Death Valley.

Entering Saturday night's game, Boyd was rated third on ESPN's Heisman Watch. But, after going 17-of-37 for 156 yards and two interceptions on national television, Boyd's stock takes a major hit.

Clemson's loss wasn't entirely Boyd's fault. Anytime you allow 566 yards and allow a team to convert 8-of-12 third-down conversions, you're going to be in trouble.

However, the Tigers are Boyd's team. He's the leader, and he's expected to perform at his best in the biggest games.

That didn't happen. Not only did he fail to do so, but he was outdueled in a head-to-head battle with another up-and-coming Heisman contender in Winston. Losing that battle makes Boyd look even worse in the eyes of Heisman voters.

Boyd's overall resume still has to be taken into account. He's thrown for over 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns, while throwing only four interceptions. He's also accounted for five rushing touchdowns, using his dual-threat ability to serve as a running back at times in the Tigers' offense.

Make no mistake, Boyd didn't play well in front of his raucous home crowd Saturday night. That meager performance is only magnified by the stunning game Winston put together for the Seminoles.

Oct 19, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws the ball during the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Seminoles won 51-14. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel's stock was also damaged, though, when Texas A&M lost to Auburn Saturday afternoon. The same can be said for Teddy Bridgewater's stock after Louisville fell to Central Florida Friday evening. 

On the other hand, Winston's stock after finishing the game against Clemson with 444 passing yards and four total touchdowns is higher than it has ever been. He might be the overall front-runner at this point.

While Boyd's stock certainly dropped on Saturday, he should still be ahead of the likes of Bridgewater and Sean Mannion. He's not out of the race. He still has a chance to head to New York City as a finalist, but his climb got a little steeper with Saturday's loss.

The schedule for Boyd the rest of the way will give him a chance to improve his Heisman chances, especially if he can snatch a big win on the road against South Carolina to close the season.

Everyone will remember Winston after Saturday's epic ACC clash, but it would be wise not to forget Boyd in the long run as well.

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